Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thank God THAT'S Over

We've all done it, or tried to, at least. No, I'm not talking about naked sushi or methamphetamines, but that iconic 80's dance, The Robot. And if you learned how to do it from the below video, then you get extra props for . . . abandoning all hope of ever being "with it"?

BTW, you'll probably want to watch this in a room full of people, at high volume, because it's totally rad.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Holiday Videos 7: Mad Decent - Angels With Filthy Souls

Merry Christmas. For all the good boys and girls, we ain't got shit. For the bad boys and girls (b-boys and girls) we have the Mad Decent Xmas video. So hot.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Top Five Christmas Songs

Twas the night before Christmas, and, eh, you know the rest. 

Being the holiday season I'm sure you're all listening to lots and lots of Christmas music. I love Christmas music. I think I mostly got it from my Mom, who absolutely loves anything to do with Christmas. As soon as snow hits the ground the Christmas music starts. Anyhow, with the holiday spirit in mind I thought I would share with you some of my favorite songs for the Holidays. In no particular order. 

Carol of the Bells- I love thing song. Such a great hook, chorus, everything. Moody, powerful, all while being festive. I love it. 

Feliz Navidad- A nice cheery little number, and the only Spanish Christmas song I know. It's fun, upbeat, and festive. What more could you ask for? 

12 Days of Christmas- Who doesn't love this song? It's a one to sing-along with, even if you don't know the "10 jugglers running" or "8 gators eating" lyrics. 

All I Want For Christmas Is You- Obviously the Mariah Carrey version. I'm not sure if there is another version. I think after years of the DJs hammering this one on the radio I've finally succumbed into somewhat liking this song. Plus it's a pop phenomenon, you gotta respect it. 

Christmas In Hollis- I think I actually knew most of the lyrics when I was younger. I think it's hard to find really good Christmas raps, but this one rocks. Definitely the best. Run in the houses. 

And the worst Christmas song ever?

Last Christmas- Wham! What an awful band name. Not only is this song so incredibly sappy and bad, it's also ridiculously catchy. It's one of those songs you detest when it comes on, and then ten minutes later you find yourself singing it. 

Holiday Videos 6: A Very Wookie Holiday

Merry Kwanankkamas!

On the night before the birth of baby Jesus (from a woman and God - man had nothing to do with it), we present you with a video from a long time ago (30 years!) and a galaxy far, far away (whatever no-longer-existent sound stage this was made on): "Happy Life Day", from the Star Wars Holiday special! OMFG, I know!

Can you believe Harrison Ford would get down with this? Or the guy who played Chewbacca? I mean, of course C3PO would do anything for a spacebuck, but Chewie? I thought he/she/it was incorruptible!

Anyway, I didn't even watch the whole video, but it's hilarious. Carrie Fisher sings, there's an original trilogy flashback, and a wookie family in the suburbs of Endor say grace before eating their bantha meat or snowglobes or whatever.

Via Wonkette.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holiday Videos 5: High Tides and Blocked Peace Pipes

Well it seems that this is turning into more like a "holiday mashup videos" series, most (if not all - we'll have to see what Santa brings on the 25th) coming from the oft-mentioned album Santastic Vol. 4.

Our latest installment features a mashup by Go Home Productions, with music by Blondie, Paul McCartney and Jennifer Lopez. It's simple and sweet, like any Christmas song should be, and the video flows very well, starting with a clip from "Miracle on 34th Street", where Santa winkingly informs a kid that yes, it's really him. Aptly chosen for a mashup indeed.

Here's the video:

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Videos 4: The Atheism Song

For all those atheists out there who feel a touch uncomfortable with the glut of religious holidays out there around the end of the year (though it should be mentioned that Kwanzaa is non-religious, though quite spiritual), here's one for you.

It's a cover of Adam Sandler's popular "Hanukkah Song", but instead of calling out famous Jews, our singer cleverly inserts famous non-believers. Which is better? You decide! (I'm agnostic, like Carl Sagan ;-)

Originally found via BoingBoing.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Holiday Videos 3: Box of Delights vs. Voicedude

Today we have another video mashup by DJNoNo, this one as a remix/response to a more conventional mashup video made from the aforementioned Santastic Vol. 4. No drum 'n' bass this time, just the Trans Siberian Orchestra and Blink 182. It's altar boy choirs with whiny pop-punk acapella by the Blink boys over holiday movie clips galore!

No, irony is not dead!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Electric Christmas

I'm sure you've all seen this clip before. It came out about two years ago and made the e-mail chain, then got picked up by some corperation for a TV commercial. Well as you can assume the fad caught on and now  YouTube and other internet video sites are littered with hundreds of Christmas light spectaculars. And as you've also probably assumed they've only gotten better. Here is a clip from one of the best I've found, plus one of my favorite Holiday songs. This guy Holdman sets up Christmas lights every year then transmits the music to a radio station so that any passer-bys can hear the music that goes along with the show. The best thing? His whole rig is wind-powered! His website also has some how-to's, just in case you decide to create your own mega-light show. Check it out. And here is the video for you to enjoy. 

Holiday Videos 2: Max!m!l - Light 'Em Up (Hanukkah Worldwide)

Honestly, I am speechless at the multiple levels of irony apparent in this video. A Hanukkah-themed rap song? Bling-bling dreidle spinning? Enjoy.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Holiday Videos 1: DJNoNo - Scarey Xmas

In the spirit of the holidays, we're presenting a daily-dose of holiday-themed videos from 2008. Our first entry comes as a video mashup by the British DJNoNo, a.k.a. Tim Bear Cub of Radioclash fame. The song itself comes from the excellent Santastic Vol. 4, an annual Christmas-themed mashup album, which I believe is compiled by Boston-based taste-shaper DJ BC.

The video features a mashup of Mariah Carey's "All I want for Christmas is You" and Dillinja & Unknown Error plus a few odds and ends. At last, a Christmas song we can rave to!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Tantalizing Prospect: Tuba Christmas

I think we can all agree that tubas are the coolest instrument in the brass section. Big, bossy and full of character, tubas give an orchestra the oomph it needs to connect. Of course, tubas have a funny side to them as well, and have been the butt of many jokes (though not always to their detriment).

With the holiday season in swing, I've become aware of an annual event of tuba players performing Christmas songs en masse, called Tuba Christmas. I'd never heard of it before, and their website is despairingly lacking in details (or, crucially, YouTube videos, which I found later). From what I can gather the event is staged in both official, sanctioned settings, such as at Rockefeller Center in New York City, and somewhat randomly, flashmob style, where many, perhaps dozens of tuba players assemble in a public place to belt out Jingle Bells and Silent Night.

Apparently this is a tradition, as it's been going for more than 30 years, which is terrific. Brass music in general seems to be making a resurgence in recent years. Hopefully we'll explore that more in detail in 2009.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Let's Get Together and Feel Alright

With the holidays coming around the corner, this time of year always gives us a good excuse to come together as one in the name of compassion and Holiday spirit. A wonderful group called Playing For Change encapsulates this spirit perfectly. 

In a nutshell they connect musicians from around the world through sophisticated technology (e.g.  enabling a blue guitarist from Mississippi to play with a cellist from Moscow). They also try to spread music throughout the world by donating musical education resources to various communities around the world. Check out the interview with the producer Bill Moyer on PBS's site, it's very interesting. They also have a full documentary you can check out (I haven't yet, but definitely want to look into it). Check out their website (the link up top).  

Here's an awesome clip of a collabortation they did for "Stand By Me". Enjoy!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bert and Ernie vs. M.O.P.

DJ NoNo a.k.a. Tim over at Radioclash is a big muppets fan, and also, I assume, a fan of the Sesame Street puppets, created by Jim Henson. He recently posted a few of his favorite kids' show/gangsta rap video mashups, which came from this larger selection, most of which are not very good (though the Sponge Bob/Eminem one is pretty good). This one, however, is excellent - Bert and Ernie's mouth movements mimic the rapping quite well, and the actions seem to mimic rapper body language well. Also, I just like M.O.P. more than any of the other artists. Peep it for yourself:

Ante up, indeed. On some further looking (i.e. in the comments section of that 12-best list) this seems to be a pretty fleshed-out meme. What are your favorites? Tell us in the comments.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A WONDERful Christmas

So the other day when I went to visit my friend I by accidentally stumbled into their winter wonderland. They had just finished decorating their tree, and were sipping on some hot tea all while listening to Someday At Christmas by Stevie Wonder. 

Now let me first preface my following statement. I love Stevie Wonder. He's one of my top ten favorite artists. But I couldn't for the life of me imagine him singing Christmas songs. Boy was I wrong. We all know Stevie has an angelic/funky/just-plain-incredible voice, and it works well with all of the Christmas songs. 

Of course there is a bit of soft jazz cheesiness, but it's held to a minimum. Some of my favorite tracks include, "Little Drummer Boy", "What Christmas Means To Me", and "One Little Christmas Tree". And you've got to love "Bedtime for Toys", a song which starts as your typical Christmas Song, but then goes off and sings about the children with no toys. Now that's true Christmas spirit. It's about bringing everyone together, and sharing the love with all, no matter your race, religion, family, or economic status. 

I know what I'm asking for Christmas. A new Stevie Wonder Album. 

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What Ever Happened to Tapes?

I'm back at my house in New Mexico, which has recently re-introduced me to the old music form of cassette tapes.

Now I probably don't need to tell most of you this, for just in case, compact cassette tapes were an ancient device used to store music. They existed somewhere after 8-tracks, but before CDs. An entire album (or collection of songs) was laid out to an entire tape, and you had to listen to them sequentially. At the end of each side on had to flip the tape to hear the other side, this was changed after new technology allowed you to play both sides. 

I remember back in the day when I was out here the car didn't have a CD player, so I had to listen to only cassette tapes. I remember there were only three I needed in the car: "Graceland" - Paul Simon, "Live at Carnegie Hall" - Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, and "Exodus" - Bob Marley. Of course I had radio too, but all three albums were so good I had no problems listening to them back to front. 

I think today will all of the MP3's, iTunes, Rhapsodys, and whatever other electronic song gathering we do people very rarely buy albums any more.  I know I'm guilty of this often. My music collection looks like a bunch of singles rather than chunks of artists. I think it's kind of a shame. This is tough for artists, and it's especially tough for the music listening masses. Instead of hearing a bands full gamut of style and technique the audience knows only slices of a bands true talent. And instead of trying to experiment and try new things artists are continually looking for that hook and catchy lyric (yes pop music, I'm talking to you). 

The moral of my story is next time you go to hear some music listen to the whole album. Or if you're buying some music, buy the whole album. I promise, you'll be pleasantly surprised by what you find. 

Monday, December 8, 2008

More Holiday Mash-Ups Than You Ever Knew Existed

Santastic is the best series of compilations of Christmas and holiday-themed mashups I've come across. Spanning the range of late-fall/early-winter holidays (meaning Christmas, Hanukkah, and probably Kwanzaa), and with song titles like "Rudolph the Paranoid Reindeer" (Santastic II), "Frosty DMC" (Santastic I) and "Xmasploitation" (Santastic IV), you are bound to gin up that holiday cheer, even if you hate this time of year (like I do).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Rear-Projected Touchscreen Mashup Hacking

Oh my word, this has got to be the coolest thing ever: a demo of a touchscreen mashup-creation system pioneered and displayed at parties by the Evolution Control Committee. Doesn't seeing this just make you want to check out a mashup party?

Snagged via the always-wonderful BoingBoing.

Monday, December 1, 2008

What!?! Ok!

This is just ridiculous...

Rick Rolling

One of my frequent stops on the world wide web is a fun little site called Today's Big Thing. Well for their Thanksgiving edition they showed a video of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, in which on of the floats "Rick Rolled" the collective audience. Now for those who don't know what that is, I didn't until I researched it, let me rewind a bit (if you'd prefer a YouTube explanation of Rocket Boom go here). 

To make a long story short, Rick Rolling is basically the prank of sending your friends an interesting e-mail title with a link to a video of the 1987 Rick Astley song "Never Gonna Give You Up", which looks something like this:

Apparently this trend was huge this year, and YouTube pranked everyone this year on April Fool's day by linking random videos to the video. Anyhow, this Rick Roll is apparently a phenomenon.  It's been pulled on TV, the news, at baseball stadiums, one YouTbe fan even edited some Obama footage to create the Barack Roll (even though he didn't finish it). 

Anyhow, I'm posting this cause I think it's kind of hilarious, and after hearing the song about a thousand times you kinda get hooked. Hey, it was a world-wide number on hit at one point.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Play It Again: Fashionable People

When was the last time you heard a song, and immediately listened to it a second time? I think when I was in high school, I might have done this for a Guns 'n' Roses (Locomotive) or Red Hot Chili Peppers' (I Could Have Lied) song, but I cannot recall a single recent time that I've actually wanted to hear something twice in a row.

Today, it happened.

I subscribe (and you should too) to the KCRW "Today's Top Tune" podcast, which is one free song per weekday downloaded straight to your computer via iTunes or whatever podcasting service you use. The public radio station, based in Santa Monica, California, has a wonderful selection channels and artists - everything from Tom Jones to The Cold War Kids to Natacha Atlas - that spans almost all genres (though there is a pretty distinct lack of electronic or hip-hop music).

Today it was Joel Plaskett Emergency, with their pop ditty "Fashionable People". It's a quirky (and timely) critique of "fashionable people doing questionable things", and it had me humming along and distracting me from doing database backups and playing freecell (admittedly not that hard).

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cash and Dylan - on the same track?

Incredible, but true. The Aquarium Drunkard blog (found via BoingBoing) has a great post up with about 19 tracks from three 1969 sessions between American folk legends Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan. All are free to download, and four of them are "quadraphonic" mixes. What that means, I'm not sure, but it sounds great!

To tell the truth, I'd never been a real fan of Dylan (I know - apostasy), having grown up listening to my mom's records (and therefore determining it to be very un-cool), and had not really noticed Cash until he did the incredible cover version of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt", which is much better than the original.

This collabo, however, is just too good to pass up. Check it out here.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

MMW @ El Rey

Last night I had the pleasure of taking in a show at one of my favorite venues here in LA: the El Rey Theatre. It's a cozy little joint with two fully stocked bars, a grill on the side, plenty of open space in front of the stage, beautiful chandeliers flying overhead, and a plethora of good music streaming through. 

Last night was some particularly good music in the form of the tonal triumvirate Medeski, Martin, and Wood

I was a bit worried about getting into the venue at first. I was running late, and by the time I got there the line was fairly long. I rushed and grabbed the first lot I could find (a $15 parking garage east of the venue. From what I hear there is an $8 one across the street, I recommend you go there or find street parking). But the fates smiled upon me as I quickly scalped a ticket for $20. Anyhow, onto the music. 

When I first heard they were playing in LA I was stoked, as I hadn't seen them since sophomore year in college, in fact I didn't even know they were still around. Shows what I know. Apparently they've released three albums this year. Three! So needless to say they pillaged from those three, as I didn't recognize any tunes. But really, I could care less. Everything that came out of the trio was fun, danceable, and amazing. I honestly think they could play on a bunch of rocks and somehow produce rad tunes. This theory was nearly tested at one point when Wood and Medeski grabbed cow bells, and Martin grabbed his tambourine. This percussion jam lasted about five minutes, and they never skipped a beat. (Although I was very sick of hearing "More Cowbell" about fifty times). 

At the end of the show they thanked everyone for the amazing energy (it definitely was a lively and fun crowd), as they opened up a killer encore. Bottom line, great show. If you've never seen Medeski, Martin, and Wood go check them out. Expect some crazy experiments in their mad music lab. But once you've heard them transform a chaotic blend of noise seamlessly into a thick jazzed laden rhythm you'll be hooked.

Blowing up the spot

We all know that the internet (created by Al Gore) is for porn. But a handy side-effect of all that smut-trafficking is that it is now easier than ever to find out what's tearing dance floors apart in some of the hippest clubs in the world. This is the kind of stuff you only hear about years later, when it has finally made its way into the latest Ministry of Sound triple disc set or some other compilation.

Well, now YOU can be in the know pretty much as soon as the files are saved. Mad Decent Worldwide radio is on the cusp of anything and everything that is waaaay over your head. Go to their website right now - don't wait - and download everything on the first page of blog entries (all free) and you will be dipping a toe into what's coming. For those that need genres to inform their musical choices, this will break your addiction.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Led Zeppelin Notes

I love my XM radio. Recently I found out that XM and Sirius finally merged, and as a result my entire channel selection is mixed up now. Figuring out the new stations today I "rambled" across XM 39 which is an all Led Zeppelin station. Needless to say, a great find. I haven't actually listened to Led Zeppelin in awhile, so it was a great to listen to some old favorites and discover some new music. Here are a few thoughts on Led Zeppelin. 

• Apparently they're trying to stage a come-back tour, with our with-out Plant. Count me in!

• I do like "Kazmir", but I think it's a bit of an overrated song. Even more so after Diddy sampled it. 

• I don't like "Rock and Roll" anymore. Ever since they sold out to that dumb car commercial that's all that goes through my head when I think of it. Thanks for ruining it for me Cadillac. 

• I know "Ramble On" is about the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I still like to pretend it's about a rambler. 

• I always thought "Stairway to Heaven" was a weird choice for a slow dance song in middle-school. It was nice until the end jam part, then you just awkwardly swayed to Page shredding and Plant rocking out. 

• "The Lemon Song" is highly under-rated. 

• I don't own nearly enough Led Zeppelin.  

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Barack OBollywood

Sorry, this is entirely devoid of seriousness, but I just had to post this:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jane Fonda's Mr. Right is Mickey Avalon

So, not being the LA socialite that one must be to keep up with the rich-and-pretty kids these days (Blue Sky? :), I've only come onto Mickey Avalon in the last few weeks. Basically, what began as a joke with friends (who happened to be in the band Whitestarr) has now turned into a joke with a website and some very catchy tunes.

Exhibit A: "My Dick" (fan video)

Avalon himself has certainly lived a lot of life, having gone from heroin-fiend to male prostitute to rapper VIP in the LA club scene, and his irreverent lyrics poke fun at life while at the same time referencing many of the darkest places he's been. According to the Wikipedia entry, he's released two albums and a mixtape, as well as toured internationally, though this last part can probably be construed to mean "played shows with friends at LA-scenester-acceptable venues". For now, I think we'll stick to the lighter side of the repertoire.

Exhibit B: Jane Fonda

Bonus exhibit
: "My Dick" was mashed with The Commodores "Brick House", with the result being chosen as a November "Top 10 Mashup of the Month" over at the Bootie Blog. Direct mp3 link here.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Old Crow Medicine Show @ Henry Fonda Theatre

So last night I went to the Henry Fonda Theatre  to check out the Old Crow Medicine Show. I picked up on their sound just this year through singles like "Wagon Wheel" and "Tell It To Me". I loved their sound, and I had never been to the venue before, so I was eager to check it out. 

The band rocked out hard. While most blue grass bands don't have a percussion section you could hear the entire floor shake with boot-stoppin'. They played a few cuts off their new album, and of course some crowd favorites (including the two above mentioned songs). The entire show was super energetic, and they seemed to be having such a good time given the crowd's eager responses. And just when I wasn't sure how much better the show could have gotten the band drug out Jacob Dylan to help them close out the encore with a cover of "The Weight". An incredible night of music, and it was especially nice to see that LA has some solid blue grass fans. 

As far as the venue goes I had a great time. Two bars, open standing room in front of the stage, and a generally laid back feel by the staff. Right next door is a bar for your pre-show whistle wetting, and it's conveniently located just off Hollywood. My parking beta would be park on Sunset. It's only a block South, and all of the metered parking was open. Overall a cute little venue with very reasonable ticket prices. Look out for Mason Jennings coming on 11/14.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mashing it Up

I know they've been around forever, but recently I've discovered the wonderful world of mash-ups. I'd heard of remixes, medleys, and samples, but I had never really come across the strict genre/world of mash-ups. 

For those who don't know what a mash-up is, it's basically the combination of various tracks from various pieces of music all placed together to create a new song. Sometimes additional audio elements are thrown in to make the track more seamless, such as additional percussion or synth tracks. An example would be taking beats from Daft Punk's "Da Funk" and adding in the vocals from Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" (making "Another One Bites Da Funk").  If you're still a bit fuzzy here is an excellent video giving a brief demonstration. 

After scanning some mash-ups I've found some can be playful and fun, others transcendental, and even more just plain awful. Some of my favorite mash-up artists include Party Ben, Norwegian Recycling, and DJ Earworm. And a great catch all source is a neat little website called "Mash-up Town". 

Overall I love the concept. I love finding music that opens up my mind, and I've found this subculture has definitely done that. And plus who doesn't love hybrid song titles like "Drop It Like It's a Whole Lotta Love", "Shut Up, American Boy", and  Sweet Mama O'Mine". Check out and support your local mash-up artists, you'll hear music in a whole new way, I promise. 

Monday, November 3, 2008

1 Day away

As Def pointed out elections certainly galvanize this country's creative minds. I wanted to share one of my favorite finds recently. It's a performance by the students of the Ron Clark Academy. I love this clip cause it's an awesome take off one of my new guilty pleasures off T.I.'s "Paper Trail", and it has some great non-partisan lyrics. It's a great reminder that what matters most come November 4th is that you vote, and what makes this country great is that we get to choose our leaders. So like they say, you can vote however you like. 

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Election Season Tunes

With the U.S. Presidential election in its final days, it's worth mentioning the amount of fan-generated music that has come to define the 21st century nature of media and politics. From Obama Girl and the Yes We Can video to Raisin' McCain and Vlad and Boris' Song for Sarah (not to mention this silliness), memorable tunes on both sides of the spectrum are now a staple.

What all these things have in common are their ubiquity. We are indeed a YouTube generation. It would seem that Senator Obama has been the most savvy in utilizing the web, as shown through his fundraising success and early adoption of social networking tools like Facebook as part of the campaign strategy. Both campaigns used viral videos to get many of their campaign advertisements out on the web, saving money on television airtime in the process. I'll let the historians debate exactly what effects this non-stop feed of sound-bites, stump speeches, local tv interviews and so on have had on the race, but I don't think anyone would disagree that the impact has been huge.

While I was living in Hungary this summer, a popular tune on disco station RoxyFM was House Music United's Yes We Can remix. Funny enough, most people I asked had no idea who was speaking in the background.

Dead Prez take it (typically) one step further, suggesting on their track PolitricKKKs that "If Obama win it wouldn't be the first black/take your two-dollar bill and turn it over to the back", in this case referring to the myth of John Hanson, the so-called "First President" being descended from slaves.

Finally, from the fresher-than-fresh heads at Mad Decent comes The Vote is In, a free one-track DJ mix of somehow election-themed tunes from Lord Tameil and DJ Tiga. With titles like "Jockin' Jay-Z" and "Head Titties & Ass", I'm not sure what the connection is, other than that we should probably dance more in general - politics is so depressing.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Freestyle Battle: A Translation

Strangely by way of the Freakonomics blog, I was made aware of this hilarious video, in which a rap battle is "translated" into "correct and coherent" English, by a couple of guys named Ben and Ryan. It's quite dope:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ryan Bingham

If there has ever been a reason for me to adore Pandora radio it's due to the discovery of new music like Ryan Bingham

Coming from a rugged living-on-the-road past he sounds exactly what you'd expect: rugged and real. But what you wouldn't expect is such experienced musical chops from a man barely 27. A whiskey and cigarettes voice matched with music melodic enough to be catchy, yet rough enough to be country. He's already turned some heads, playing on both Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien. 

I was lucky enough to catch him at a somewhat underground venue in Topanga, and watching him live only bolstered my love for his sound. So for those Angeleno's be sure to check out his show at the El Rey on December 12th. Check out his album Mescalito, a cheap buy on iTunes for all of the music is contains. A few of my favorite tracks include, "Southside of Heaven", "Bread and Water", "Best of Me", "Don't Wait For Me", "Sunshine", well, as you can tell I kind of love the entire album. 

Check out Ryan Bingham if you love smokey voices, alternative country sounds, and long drives down the dusty open road.  

Apple Juice Kid: Miles Remixed

Okayplayer regular The Apple Juice Kid apparently has the gumption to try and mess with Miles Davis, on his bedroom project Miles Remixed.

As it's a free download (available here), I wasn't expecting all that much, though as I will hopefully show, there is lots of great free music out there if you want it!

Basically the groove is decidedly lounge, with Miles riffs being looped into easily-digestible hooks and overlaid with new drum patterns and some throwaway scratching. Think Thievery Corporation's mellower tracks or the Brooklyn Funk Essentials' down tempo numbers.

I found this "pleasant" but not really attention-grabbing, as Miles Davis truly is. Great music to work to, though. If you're into a more original experiment in hip-hop/jazz fusion, check out The Roots' Organix (if you can find it, that is) or DJ Logic's Project Logic.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Emerging Artists: Alberta Cross

Jump on now, cause this London based New York polished Americana rock band isn't going to stay quiet much longer. They are already touring with Oasis currently, and I'm sure they will be hitting it much bigger once another album gets cut.

They are a wonderful mix of soulful vocals and bluesy guitar riffs all set on top of a solid rock foundation. Their first (mini) album The Thief and the Heartbreaker is a wonderful mix, showing their strong original sound based upon old-rock goodness. It all sounds familiar, but wonderfully new, leaving you wanting more. A few of my favorite cuts include, "Low Man", "Old Man Chicago", "The Devil's All You Ever Had", and "Hard Breaks".

Pick up the mini-album on iTunes if you like solid rock with a bluesy edge and heart-felt vocals. And keep these guys on the radar, I have a feeling they are just beginning.