Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Cellphone's Dead

Another new release this week is the deluxe edition of Beck's 2006 LP The Information. I really dug the album, and so I plunked down the $$$ for the expanded version. Here is what you get - all the songs from the The Information, including the 3 songs that were only available on overseas versions, an EP of 6 remixes, a combination graph paper/lyric book to decorate, all of the studio videos plus 2 bonus studio videos and the Nausea and Cellphone's Dead videos, and all 4 sticker sheets. Sweet. Here are a couple of the remixes of Cellphone's Dead, both very different takes - Ellen brings the uptempo electro flavor and Jamie brings the downtempo, squelchy funk.
Cellphone's Dead (Ellen Allien Remix)
Cellphone's Dead (Jamie Lidell Limited Minutes Mix)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Silk Degrees

Hitting stores today is the expanded remaster of the Boz Scaggs classic Silk Degrees. Originally released in 1976, it is slick, mainstream American rock with a touch of blue eyed soul, definitely of it's era. It is also disco kissed - the beats, string arrangements and backing vocals are all influenced by the then thriving disco era. The backing band is notable, featuring Steely Dan session players David Paich on keys and Jeff Porcaro on drums, as well as David Hungate on bass. It was during these recording sessions that these 3 cooked up their future band, Toto. Little Feat's Fred Tackett plays guitar. The end result is a collection of Texas blues pop songs given the LA session treatment. When I was a kid I was enamored of the big hits from this album, although I never bought it at the time. Today is the time. I now own a copy, and so without further ado enjoy the classic disco vibe of Lowdown and the rocking, horn filled boogie of Lido Shuffle - killer synth solo alert!

Monday, February 26, 2007

My New Favorite Band (This Week)

The Young Knives' debut album Voices Of Animals And Men got released here in the US last week. Produced by Andy Gill (Gang Of Four), it is a great album of quirky post punk riffage featuring dual vocalists. It is distinctly British, right down to the tweeds the lads wear on the sleeve. You will be humming along in no time. I love it. Ryko put out a great 2 disc version, the second disc being a DVD with videos, live footage and slide shows. The second disc is a hoot because these guys make some seriously entertaining music videos. A great record.
The Decision
Weekends & Bleak Days (Hot Summer)

Find more of The Young Knives on The Hype Machine

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Funky Friday Four Pack

The Rakes - 22 Grand Job (Filthy Dukes Society Remix)
From a great little 5 track EP on Dim Mak called Remixes, this one sees one of the great tunes from the lads' debut given a fab squelchy disco makeover. Full of lovely squiggles, and that accent gets me every time. New album forthcoming this Spring.

Goldfrapp - Ride A White Horse (Ewan Pearson Disco Odyssey Parts 1&2)
Ewan's mix takes you on a 15 minute trip of blissed out electro-disco, complete with killer breakdown around the 7 minute mark.

Go Home Productions - Notorious Trick - (Duran Duran vs. Kelis)
Duran Duran's Notorious, which was produced by Nile Rodgers, versus Kelis' Trick Me, which was produced by Dallas Austin, who went on to produce part of Duran's comeback album a couple of years ago. These two work very well together, no?

Go Home Productions - Absolutely Love You (Scritti Politti vs. Justin Timberlake)
A few weeks ago on some mash up post Ion commented about this Scritti vs. Justin mashup. Now, thanks to Ion we can all enjoy this bootie that pits the classic white funk groove of Scritti's Absolute with Justin's Like I Love You. The bit where the rap is mashed up over the chime-y break is brilliant.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Moonstation House Band

One of the record store clerks where I shop recommended the debut album from David Vandervelde. Called The Moonstation House Band, it is an eclectic set of music that has obvious influences - folk and glam rock of the '60s and '70s, especially Marc Bolan's T.Rex and the art rock of Bowie and Roxy. Despite those influences the Chicago native has crafted a memorable set of tunes that transcend the source. It's impressive to note that the guy plays almost everything on the record. He gets a bit of assistance from Wilco's Jay Bennett, who provides the studio (and bass on two songs). The music ranges from the full on assault of album opener Nothin' No (Hello T.Rex!) to the lushly orchestrated Moonlight Instrumental, reminiscent of Air. String arrangements are courtesy of Beck's dad David Campbell, who handled the same duties on recent faves by Charlotte Gainsbourg and Air. All in all a nice little record that leaves me waiting to see what David will come up with next.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Money For All

Over the few years that I have been doing this blog I have made my love for David Sylvian and his former band Japan well known. The last couple of years have seen him involved in Nine Horses, a collaboration with his brother (and former Japan drummer) Steve Jansen and Burnt Friedman. They released an LP in 2005 called Snow Borne Sorrow, which featured some of the most conventional music Sylvian had done in years. I loved it's slight return to something resembling pop songs. Now comes this EP. It features a few remixes of tracks from that album, plus three new songs and their companion remixes. Money For All kicks off the EP, and finds Sylvian launching into a political rant about the US and it's current foreign policies - "wipe your nation's shame from you, it's not where you're born, it's the things that you do". The music is a swampy, folktronica groove with double bass, funky thumb piano, gospel-ly backing vocals and nice guitar. Wonderful World (Burnt Friedman Remix) is a track from the debut which features the lovely vocals of Stina Nordenstam. The treatment here is all about the double bass, and spaced out effects. It really reminds me of Sylvian's solo debut Brilliant Trees. Very nice.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

L.O.V.E. Love

Thud! Back to earth where it's 2˚F today. The wife and I are home after a great little vacation, where it was in the 80˚s every day. All we did was drink, eat, drink some more, lie in the sun, drink, eat, and oh, did I mention that we drank? No dishes, no cleaning, no kids, which was bittersweet because of course we missed 'em a little bit. It was fun (and therapeutic) being an adult without child for a few days.

It's Valentines Day, and the concept is simple; open iTunes, search for "love", pick a few personal favorites, et voila! A fun little Valentines playlist...

Linus Loves - Love
Human League - Love Action
Evelyn "Champagne" King - I'm In Love
10cc - I'm Not In Love
Justin Timberlake - My Love (DFA Remix)
CSS - Let's Make Love And Listen To Death From Above
Revolved - Rush Of Love (Beatles Vs. Coldplay)


Find more L.O.V.E. Love on the Hype Machine

Friday, February 09, 2007

Funky Friday On Vacation...

This is the view from my balcony - not too shabby, eh? The weather has been so-so, raining a bit in the AM but clearing up by the afternoon. It's been in the '80s which is freaking fantastic after last week's sub zero freeze back home. The place is huge, and we are doing the all inclusive thing - all you can eat and drink all day - so it's been a steady stream of margos and cervezas! ¡Muy bueno!

Here I am on the beach, contemplating today's post - hmmm, that Yoko remix would be nice...

Yoko Ono - Kiss Kiss Kiss (Peaches Remix)
Yoko picked a bunch of her favorite artists to rework some of her songs for a new album, Yes I'm A Witch. Included are The Flaming Lips, Le Tigre, Porcupine Tree, Hank Shocklee and Cat Power. It is very appropriate that raunchy Canadian Peaches handles the remix of Kiss Kiss Kiss, a song where Yoko simulates orgasm. A nice and bumping electro update.

Now I'm off to the pool for a swim and a mojito!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted...

SIART is packing it's bags and flying south for a week. Yes, the wife and I are taking a well deserved break from reality (that would be our jobs and kids) and spending the next 5 days on the beach you see pictured above. The weather here has been sub-zero for like a week now, and it snowed a couple of inches today so we are ready to get away! The hotel has wireless so the laptop is coming and there may be a post or two. !Una margarita, por favor!

Twilight Singers - Live With Me
Today I leave you with this tasty Twilight Singers cover of a Massive Attack tune. Taken from the EP A Stitch In Time which got it's US release today, this is a smoking, rocked out version of the song originally sung by Terry Callier. Friend of the Twilight Singers Mark Lanegan handles the sultry vocals here, and as usual does a great job.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Super Bowl Sunday

Today is Super Bowl Sunday. It is the pinnacle of the football season and the biggest sporting event of the year. This year's game is between the AFC Champion Indianapolis Colts and the NFC Champion Chicago Bears - Peyton Manning and his high powered Colts offense versus Brian Urlacher and one of the best defenses in the league. Can Peyton win the big one? Can the Colts defense, porous until the last few games of the season, keep the Bears out of the end zone? Can Bears QB Rex Grossman silence the critics who have been calling for his head all season long? Historically the game is also notable for being the first Super Bowl to feature a black head coach - in fact, both of the head coaches are African American. Prince will be doing the half time show, the ads are always big money items, and the game has the potential to be a good one. I will be watching, and should be rooting for the Bears - they represent my conference and division. However, it's the Colts I'll be pulling for. Coach Tony Dungy got his start as a defensive coach for my Minnesota Vikings, and I have followed his career over the years, from Minnesota to Tampa Bay to the Colts. His teams have been close the last few years, but have always been stymied by the Patriots. This year they got that monkey off of their back and made it to the big one. Go Colts!

Ozomatli - Super Bowl Sundae

Thursday, February 01, 2007

You Know I'm No Good

You Know I'm No Good
An early candidate for the end-of-year best-of-list is Amy Winehouse's Back To Black. Out in the UK since October, it's on the slate for a US release on March 13. I must admit that the bloggers/music press have had much love for Amy, and that I have largely ignored the hype. That is until a few weeks ago when I "obtained" a copy of it. Hooray! I absolutely love this record. I have been listening to my bootlegged copy of it it just about every day now for like the last three weeks.
This is the second album from the 24 year old Brit, the follow up to her 2003 debut Frank. (I have never heard that record but I will be looking to get a copy of it ASAP.) She has a reputation as a serious party girl who likes her drink, and her lyrics reflect that a lot - hello! the first single is called Rehab! By all accounts her debut was more of a jazzy affair. This new album has jazzy elements, but is much more rooted in the classic soul and girl group sounds of the '60s - the Supremes, Phil Spector's roster. What is amazing to me is her voice - sultry, smoky and old way beyond her years. You look at the picture above and you'd never think that voice was coming from that diminutive British white girl. She reminds me a lot Lauryn Hill actually, with a voice that is a little bit raspy. The songs are sweet, sad and funny, full of profanity and debauchery use. She cites Busta Rhymes as an influence alongside Sarah Vaughan. It's really quite jarring at first to hear these gangsta lyrics sung by that voice over these classically old school style songs. I find it incredibly addicting. And so does everybody else it would seem. I play this at my work for a crowd with diverse tastes, and most people are really digging it. I hope her record company can do a good job of promoting this album to US audiences, because she deserves the success.


Listen to more Amy Winehouse on The Hype Machine.