Music Reviews

Monday, October 26, 2009

RappersThatSuck.com

Yet another idea I wish I had come up with ... RappersThatSuck.com. This cracked me up:

Yes, this dude did remix that Jeremih song and call it Breakfast Sex. And yes, he is rapping about huevos rancheros and leche.

Bookmarked!

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Posted by Kevin K. on 10/26/09 at 09:06 AM
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Categories: Knee SlappersMusicMusic ReviewsMusic Videos

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday Morning Music: Fuck’s “Like You”

The members of this inappropriately-named, mostly-Bay Area band allegedly met in a police holding cell and from the mid-90’s to 2003 they released some hugely underrated whispery ‘n’ weird indie strum, including two now-out-of-print albums on Matador. My lovely wife Chris is featured in this music video from their second and best album Baby Loves a Funny Bunny (packaged in an oversized matchbook), which you can still get directly from the band. Highly recommended.  Enjoy.

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Posted by Kevin K. on 09/28/09 at 07:37 AM
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Categories: MusicMusic ReviewsMusic VideosYouTubidity

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Zeitgeist: The Most Unintentionally Funny Music Critic in the World vs. the Smashing Pumpkins

This is one for the ages.  If Robert Christgau was this, ummmm, effusive, he never would have been cut loose by the Village Voice. A dweeby, semi-drunk Smashing Pumpkins fan reviews their entire comeback album Zeitgeist, which he really, really hates, by spazzing out over the whole thing and yelling things like “Why is this here?!” and “This isn’t even music!” I recommend downloading the whole thing (warning: the process is a little annoying and circuitous, but totally worth it). Once you grab it you’ll want to listen to parts of it again and again. To whet your appetite, here’s a sample MP3 of his reaction to the second to last song on the album, “For God and Country.” Enjoy.

p.s. If anyone has anymore info about this, please share in the comments.  The Googles knew nothing.

NOT AT ALL RELATED: I totally forgot to recommend downloading the intentionally funny (and free!) audio commentary the Beastie Boys did for the 20th Anniversary edition of their classic album Paul’s Boutique. They’re all hilarious, but Mike D. really knocks it out of the park with his pronunciations and storytelling.  Grab it, like, now.

MYSTERY SOLVED: His name is Kuuenbu. Oh my.

Posted by Kevin K. on 03/18/09 at 10:55 AM
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Categories: Knee SlappersMusicMusic ReviewsYouTubidity

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s “I Am Goodbye”

This song and bare-bones video from Will Oldham’s soon-to-be-released album Beware both make me very, very happy.  And, yes, there are times when a relatively hairless goofball like me really wishes he could grow a righteous beard like that…

Swamped for the rest of today. Consider this an open thread.

Posted by Kevin K. on 03/13/09 at 11:21 AM
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Categories: MessylaneousMusicMusic ReviewsMusic Videos

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Music Review: Elisa Flynn’s “Songs About Birds & Ghosts”

Songs About Birds & Ghosts

Elisa Flynn
Songs About Birds & Ghosts
(Cat in a Dress Records)

Elisa Flynn is one of the up-and-coming talents in NYC’s burgeoning anti-folk scene, but what sets her apart from the rest of her peers is an infusion in her songwriting of some of the best inclinations of the 80’s indie jangle pop scene. It’s hard to pin down distinct influences (a touch of Barbara Manning here, a taste of the Neats there), but there’s a refreshing and original gaze back to a cruelly underappreciated touchpoint in modern music. Flynn’s debut self-released long-player Songs About Birds & Ghosts kicks off with the elegant, head-nodding dirge “Timber” and then veers between exquisitely crafted ballads about long-lost friends who are “made out of dust” to uplifting numbers that are carried way-up-high by her soaring ‘n’ joyous voice (good luck trying not to sing along with some of them).  And whenever you hear Elisa Flynn sing the banjo-tinged beauty “Big Sky,” an angel doesn’t get its wings, you do.

[You can check out a few tracks from the album and buy it via Elisa’s official web site]

Posted by Kevin K. on 12/04/08 at 10:23 PM
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Categories: MusicMusic Reviews

Friday, January 18, 2008

Departmentstore Santas—“At the Medieval Castle Nineteen 100-Year Lifetimes Since”

Departmentstore Santas -- At the Medieval Castle Nineteen 100-year Lifetimes Since

If you’ve ever enjoyed the DIY sounds of early Beck, Sebadoh, the Microphones or pretty much anything on the K records label, you really need to hear the Departmentstore Santas’ first and only record At the Medieval Castle Nineteen 100-year Lifetimes Since. Only 500 vinyl copies were pressed in 1984 and the leader of the group, Joseph D’angelo has steadfastly refused to allow anyone to rerelease it as a CD, causing it to fetch ridiculous prices on eBay and through dealers.  I was first introduced to the record when the music director at our college station—I was assistant music director at the time—scored it in an impulse buy at Cutler’s Records in New Haven, CT. It quickly became a station favorite.  Unfortunately, by the time I made it down to Cutler’s it was long gone and so for many, many years all I had in my possession was a badly worn cassette of the record, which inexplicably (and cruelly) excluded a few of the tracks.  A few years ago my pal Tom from the Major Stars, who’s as obsessed with this record as I am, hooked me up with a vinyl rip CD of Medieval and I listened to it repeatedly for weeks on end, falling in love with it all over again.  It’s moody, charming, eerie, sloppy, joyous, haunting, funny and everything in between.  There are certain albums like Exile on Main St. and The Basement Tapes that exude an overall aural aura that elevates them well past the strength of their individual songs and Medieval Castle is one of those albums. You can sample one of the tracks (“Photo Album of Baby”) here and read about how Camper Van Beethoven loved the Santas, but I highly encourage you to download the whole album (an excellent rip in MP3 format) courtesy of the fine folks at Mutant Sounds before the RapidShare download expires.  It’s the last of the four download options that work now, so I’d run if I were you.

MORE: Review at Siltblog.

Posted by Kevin K. on 01/18/08 at 10:10 AM
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Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Best Music of 2007

This year we’re joining forces with FREEwilly and releasing our Best Music of 2007 list in tandem.  You can check out their list here. Our “touch points” were more limited than in the past, so we didn’t attempt to combine our lists this year, but you can spot check both lists to see what we agreed on.

In 2007 I found myself listening primarily to the endless onslaught of grade-A funk and soul collections that were released this year (I’ll get to those on a later date), but below you can find the newly-minted gems that cut through the grind…

Best Albums of 2007


1. Blitzen Trapper—Wild Mountain Nation
The Kinks meet Pavement or, more specifically, Muswell Hillbillies meets Wowee Zowee. It’s like it was written and performed just for me.  And it was.


2. O’Death—Head Home (2007 Ernest Jenning release)
I’m cheating a bit because they self-released this in 2006 before Ernest Jenning picked it up and remastered it, but it needs many more faces to tear off.  If the term “life-affirming Appalachian stomp” doesn’t excite you, please go figure out how to fuck a doorknob. (More here).


3. Various Artists—Top Shelf 8/8/88
I’m cheating a bit because these songs were originally recorded in 1988 before they were discovered in New Jersey.  Only they weren’t and this is a shameless, badly-cloaked hoax. And I don’t care at all because I listened to this release more than anything else in 2007. (More here.)


4. Bowerbirds—Hymns for a Dark Horse
A few hippies who favor lilting acoustic ballads live in the woods in a trailer without electricity and form a band.  And, amazingly, they don’t suck.  At all. I want to make a parka out of them.


5. Wu-Tang Clan—8 Diagrams
RZA is so far off the hook on this one that the cord has snapped to Uruguay.

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Posted by Kevin K. on 12/20/07 at 11:15 AM
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Categories: MusicMusic Reviews

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The problem with hip-hop today is that it doesn’t reference Michael Dukakis enough…

Top Shelf 8/8/88

I’m starting to compile my favorite albums of the year and have settled on the fact that Blitzen Trapper‘s Wild Mountain Nation (think Pavement meets the Kinks) will garner my much-coveted top spot.  But when it comes to identifying the new release that I’ve listened to the most in ‘07, it would have to be the gloriously buoyant old school hip-hop comp Top Shelf 8-8-88 that was released this year as a Japanese import. I first heard about it on one of my favorite radio shows, NPR’s “Fair Game,” and got a hold of a copy soon after.  Recently I’ve been revisiting some somewhat silly step-back stuff like Das EFX, Fu-Schnickens and A Tribe Called Quest, and Top Shelf slotted righted into that mix perfectly.  And the best thing about the comp, which claims to feature “lost” recordings from ‘88 by the likes of Black Sheep, Biz Markie, Jungle Brothers, MC Lyte and Big Daddy Kane, is that it’s complete and utter bullshit and I really don’t care:

The rumors swirled all summer: a hip-hop El Dorado, a treasure trove of lost recordings by old-school greats like Big Daddy Kane and Biz Markie, had been discovered in an abandoned storage locker in New Jersey.

Then, in August, an album called “Top Shelf 8/8/88” was issued in Japan. Supposedly a collection of never-before-released recordings from 1988, it came with a back story that was even more elaborate than the rumors. And as the music spread on the Internet, skeptics set blogs ablaze: was it a hoax?

The album’s liner notes told this story: An unidentified New York hip-hop aficionado scavenging through a storage locker near Hoboken, N.J., discovered a box of studio reels. The only clue to their contents was a name scribbled on a label: “Fab Five Freddy,” the hip-hop impresario who was host of “Yo! MTV Raps” in the 1980s.

According to the story, the reels turned out to be recordings from hip-hop’s fabled golden era, taped at a studio called Top Shelf in a basement in the East Village of Manhattan. The reels were supposedly lost during the Tompkins Square Park riots of 1988, and the studio later shut down.

Built on loops of classic soul songs and with rap that is at least four times faster than what is usually heard on the radio today, “Top Shelf” is peppered with references to Michael Dukakis, the Pontiac Fiero and the first “Die Hard” film. But why, as fans wrote online, do some of the supposedly teenage rappers sound hoarse and winded? And how come nobody has stepped forward and claimed to be one of the “anonymous Top Shelf producers” credited with the album’s excellent productions?

It’s due for a rumored US release in early ‘08 but if you want to preview it before then, I found this link via Google. You’re welcome.

MORE INFO: Werner von Wallenrod’s Humble, Little Hip-Hop Blog and Soul Sides.

Posted by Kevin K. on 11/15/07 at 10:06 AM
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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Why I Love Living in Brooklyn #4: Simply Saucer & Old Time Relijun

image
Edgar Breau of Simply Saucer

WFMU is putting on a great free show this Saturday at Southpaw in Park Slope featuring Oneida, Simply Saucer, Alan Vega (of Suicide), and Old Time Relijun.  I’ve never had much luck at “getting” Oneida or Suicide (yes, I completely suck), but Simply Saucer and Old Time Relijun are both eagerly anticipated here at Rumproast HQ.  Canada’s long dormant Simply Saucer, described accurately by WFMU’s “Beware of the Blog” as “the single greatest 1970’s band to influence absolutely no one,” only released one (posthumous) album in the history of the band (Cyborgs Revisted—most recently reissued in 2003), but it’s a humdinger of psych-skronk garage-isms worthy of all of the indie insider praise layered upon it.  K Records vets Old Time Relijun just released their latest effort Catharsis In Crisis and, with the addition of Benjamin Hartman’s sax work to leader Arrington De Dionyso’s pulling-flesh-from-bone vocals, it explodes in so many directions you’ll find yourself ducking for cover the first few times you listen to it. OTR fan John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats put it best when reviewing Catharsis at his blog Last Plane to Jakarta: “I think Old Time Relijun are a very physical celebration of music and its possibilities, which is a terrible thing to say about anybody, since it makes them sound like professors, which they’re not. They’re hairy shirtless guys screaming about dark matter.”

Simply Saucer MP3s: “Illegal Bodies” (aka Canada’s “Sister Ray”) & “Bullet Proof Nothing

More Simply Saucer info: Sonic Unyun & Perfect Sound Forever

Old Time Relijun MP3s: Free full sample catalog downloads & Catharsis in Crisis download (only $6.99)

Posted by Kevin K. on 10/10/07 at 10:50 AM
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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bo Diddley doesn’t like you but you love Bo

Bo Diddley’s messy semi-funk experiment The Black Gladiator was released back in ‘69 and it’s a fun-as-shit, organ-ized groove from the first track (the crunchy blues chug “Elephant Man”) to the last (the ultra-bizarre duet “I Don’t Like You”—I have no idea what Bo was thinking when he laid down the track, but I love it). It hasn’t been released on CD until this year, but it’ll cost you $40 as an import. If I were you, I’d head over to Egg City Radio and download the perfectly fine vinyl rip they’re handing out for free.

And as an added bonus, check out this pic of Bo buckled into a ... well, jeebus fuck, I don’t know diddley about what it is.

Posted by Kevin K. on 09/25/07 at 12:09 PM
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Categories: MusicMP3/Music DownloadsMusic Reviews

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