Thursday, October 10, 2013

    Hello world, it's been a long time. I would have posted sooner, but I've been traveling in Eastern Europe with a group of gypsies and Elvis impersonators Not really, I've just been doing other stuff. Today I would like to give my review of a new group called Dream Fire. Their E.P. can be heard here:

     Vocalist and song writer Jacob Rice channels Prince in a tasteful manor in this fun, funky little collection of pop dance tunes. While pop music isn't my favorite genre of all time; I prefer weird stuff, there's no denying Rice and crew's talent. With funky guitar riffs and blasting bass lines, I dare you to listen to this without bouncing your head. Yeah, it's pop, but it's good pop.

   My favorite tune on this E.P. is definitely the first track, titled Risk Frisk. It is
a six minute club banger of a track, show cases Rice's vocal chops, as well as the whole group's competence in funk. The changes are refreshing, and all together it is a great tune. the rest of the E.P. is catchy as heck, in a good way.  The down fall I see in pop dance music, however, is that it is simple to a fault. That's how I feel about the rest of the E.P., but hey that's just one man's opinion. There's no denying that Jacob Rice has one fierce vocal range.

   I don't want to get too hung up on the fact that this type of music really isn't my bag, it's not daring enough, but I just want to say this. I wanted to hate Justin Timberlake. For a while I really did. Come to find out, he's a genius with more talent and charisma than almost every other current top 40 artist. He sucked when he was a Disney kid, but there can be no denying his talent and ability to thrive in the music world of today. That's how I feel about Dream Fire, without the Disney part. Anyway, Dream Fire is A-O.K. in my book. Rock on fellas.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Django Django

    Greeting readers, it's been a while since I've posted, so here's some stuff for you. 

    Today we're taking a look at the self titled album from the English experimental group Django Django. Their album can be found on spotify here: Django Django – Django Django

    I first was made aware of this band through my web searching for music. I thought the band name was intriguing, but didn't give it much more thought than that until I heard their single "Default" on a local radio station. This song has a catchy, almost marching band beat with heavy elements of electronic and indie rock. The format of this song is unique, and the psychedelic tone made me immediately interested.
    Default is a great song, and made me want to hear more of this interesting new sound. Track two on this album, Hail Bop, has a pretty cool sound. It has a dance kind of feel mixed with some spacey guitar and vocals reminiscent of early Pink Floyd. When I listen to this track I get a feeling that if the original British Psychedelic Rock bands of days past has the technology of today, they might produce a sound similar to this. Is it a completely new sound? Not in my opinion. It is, however, extremely different than anything else that's coming out now, and that gets my approval.
   The rest of the album seems to tread the line between familiar and unique. Firewater, for instance, has a blues sound and the '60s psych-rock singing, but it still sounds new. The synthesizer solo demonstrates that they aren't afraid to experiment. The result is something new out of something old, which in my opinion is the back-bone of art in all forms.

   After a hand full of times listening through, I can honestly say that I really like this album. For several years I was not at all interested in indie rock, but over the last year or two my opinion has been changing, and it's refreshing and original albums such as this that are influencing my journey into discovering new indie rock. 

So sit back and enjoy the tunes, and until next time, keep it cold.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Funky Friday

 Funky Friday   Happy Friday everyone. Today, to ring in the weekend, I've got some nice funky tracks for you.  Click on Funky Friday at the beginning of this post to check it out.

    Starting off we have a nice groove from The Greyboy Allstars. With Karl Denson on saxophone, Robert Walters on keys and Elgin Park on guitar, these guys definitely do funk the right way.This track is from their 1998 album Town Called Earth. Although it's a more recent funk track, it does the traditional style in the right way, and is a great way to kick off our play list today.

   Up next, going back to the 1970's, we have Ain't It Funky Now, the first track from Grant Green's album Green is Beautiful. And he sure is. His guitar work is just incredible. Funky and jazzy, he sets a unique mood of happy and scattered. This is brilliant work by a brilliant artist.

    Staying instrumental, funky, and in the hay day of funk, The Meters provide a nice three-song set consisting of their classic and often covered Cissy Strut, Live Wire, and Sophisticated Cissy. The Meters are a prime example of a talented and influential funk four piece. With no member out-shining the other, the Meters personify the "whole is greater than the sum of it's parts" mentality. And their influence knows no boundary. I think it is safe to say that most modern jam bands owe much of their groove oriented aesthetic to The Meters.

    Finishing up in the old times of funk, we have Quincy Jones, Betty Davis, and Parliament. What I want to talk about, is Betty Davis. This woman was actually married to Miles Davis for one year and turned him onto artists such as Sly Stone and Jimi Hendrix. Shortly afterwards, Miles Davis re-invented his sound and moved into the electric age. Behind every great man there's a great woman? In this case, that is very true. Betty's own music career is nothing to shake a stick at either. Very "street" and very cool, Betty Davis is an over-looked gem from the funk era.

   Coming back into the contemporary, we have an all-star instrumental George Clinton tribute project known as the The Clinton Administration. Combining old and new musicians from the genre, this is a very cool spin on a tribute band. This version of Up for the Downstroke is a very hip, jazzy and futuristic tribute. Try not to bob your head to this track. It's impossible.

    At this point, our play list stays modern to round out the funk with great grooves from Poets of Rhythm, Alex Clare, and Beck among others. Basically, what I did today was set out to create a fun, happy funk-o-thon for your Friday. So relax, get your funk on, and keep it cold.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Robert DeLong is pretty awesome.

  Hello again! Today I'm doing something a little different. I decided that, instead of sharing music on spotify, I will share some videos instead. Today we're taking a look at new artist Robert Delong. Robert Delong recently blew the crowd away at local independant radio station WEQX's PearlPalooza festival. Here's the videos:

   What can I say about Robert Delong? A lot. This kid is totally shaking the foundation of electronic dance music, and I like it. He uses a mix of keyboards, laptops, midi triggers, live drums, delay loops, and video game controllers. You read my words correctly, this kid uses video game controllers. It's pretty intriguing, isn't it? I was able to find a pretty good site which lists the gear he uses in his live shows, which can be found here:

   Bringing a DJ aesthetic to live looping, drumming and synth-pop singing, I would call Robert Delong the definition of the word "Fresh". And, if you've read my blog at all, you know how I feel about musicians keeping it fresh. I can be a pretty wordy person, but my reaction to his music can best be summed up into one word: Awesome.

    His single Global Concepts is a great track. With a great dance beat, primal drums and nihilistic lyrics, he has only been around for a short time and is without any doubts changing the face of Electronic Dance Music. There is no turning back now.

   Being the music geek that I am, I wish the videos I have provided had a little higher quality, but still they leave my jaw dropped. His dubstep-esque bass drops are incredible, and the fact that he's doing it in a non-traditional manner makes my mouth water for more. For reference, check out the 3 minute mark in the second video. Yes, that is Skrillex he's sampling. And I like it better than Skrillex. It's a pretty ballsy move to mix in another newer artist, but chance taking is what makes this guy so great. I am literally at loss for words. This kid is just sick, period.

    I am kicking myself in the head over missing PearlPalooza. For any of you in my neck of the woods, however, he is playing at Putnam Den in Saratoga October 24th. It's a 8 dollar show, so if you can make it out, do it. I unfortunately have a mid-term due this night, so can't make it. I am, however, thankful that DeLong is at the beginning of what is bound to be an amazing career, so I will surely have more chances to catch him. His complete tour schedule can be found here: I would strongly advise any readers out in the western U.S. to check him out with The Faint. In my opinion, that's got to be a great show.

   Well that's about it for now. Check out Robert DeLong, keep reading my blog and enjoying tunes with me, and keep it cold.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Apathy rules. Or it's just o.k. Who cares.

    It is time to get to know something about your faithful music blogger, i.e. yours truly. I hate getting up for work. It may surprise you, but I'm not very keen on getting up and getting out of bed. Especially when said bed is super comfy. Which it always is. So I made an apathy themed play list on spotify which can be listened to here: Just Cold Mix 10/16/2012

    My tribute to laziness and general dis-interest starts off smooth and slow. Therefore, I will refer to the first two tracks as the "pre-coffee" tracks. I chose to lead off with Life Goes On & On by 9 Lazy 9. See where I'm going with this? Anyway this is the opening track on the duo's album Electric Lazy Land. It is pretty much the perfect mood setter for this album, and for my lazy play list as well. I love jazzy Electronica, and this track is a perfect example of what I listen to when I'm chilling out. It is happy and mellow at the same time, a decent start to a horrible Monday if you ask me.

    Moving on, and staying with the Electronica feel for the time being, I selected Jet Stream (rmx) by Etheric Double and Emancipator. I discovered Emancipator through spotify, and I gotta tell you, if you like instrumentals, you'll love Emancipator. This particular track is perfect for the first couple sips of coffee and hitting the highway on your way to work. Pulsing, rhythmic and spacey, This sums up mornings for me. It's saying "I don't want to be awake, but if I have to, I'm gonna kick ass. With eyes half-open, of course."

    Now we are at work. We don't want to be there, but we have a rocking song called Burritos by Sublime. The song clearly states "I don't wanna leave my bed today." Amen, brother. This is just a straight out anthem for indifference, and I guarantee it's premise follows a mood we've all felt, every Monday morning if you're me. I threw in Breed by Nirvana, because if you don't listen to Nirvana when you're feeling ambivalent about life on a Monday morning, you're doing it wrong.

    Sarcasm marks the changing of our mood to "hell, I might as well try to enjoy myself" as NOFX takes the stage in our play list with Thank God It's Monday. You just gotta listen to it. Like most NOFX, it's funny and awesome.

    Jimi Hendrix, Rusted Root, and Eddie Vedder play us some melancholy-yet-head-bopping tunes to get us through the afternoon. Unexpected by Sprung Monkey gives us that corny positivity we need to get through the last four minutes of work, then we have the Cave by The Culver City Dub Collective which mellows us back down as we enjoy the ride home.

  I hope you enjoyed our musical journey into indifference today. Until next time, keep it cold.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Just Cold 10/13/2012 David Byrne and St. Vincent Love This Giant

   Well, it's a beautiful Saturday morning, and it is a good time as any to get right into the tunes. David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant. While cruising around the city of spotify this morning in search for a playlist to put together for my blog, I discovered this album. I use the term "discovered" lightly because, although I have been aware of the album, I simply have not devoted the time to listen to it. That, my friends, is what we call a huge mistake. This quirky, funky, abstractly melodic work of art is deserving of the highest priority in anybodies life. Seriously, put down whatever you're doing right now and listen to this album. It's worth it. On your way to the alter? Your bride/groom and guests can wait.
    I expect nothing but excellence from David Byrne, having grown up in a home where it was not uncommon to hear three or four Talking Heads albums a day. I may have not ever had a lot of money, but in my world where music is the most important thing ever, this is what I call having a privileged childhood. So anyway, being a huge fan of all things Byrne, I went into this knowing I would be getting into something awesome.
    It is the X factor that is St. Vincent that pushes this album beyond my already high expectations. I have heard a couple St. Vincent songs, but I wouldn't say I spent a lot of time appreciating her music. Therefore, having made it clear I'm fairly unfamiliar with her as a solo act, her work with Byrne is out of this world. Listening to this album for the first time makes me imagine what it must have been like to be the first person to hear Paul Simon and Art Garfunkle sing together. They just go together. It definitely impresses me how two established musicians can get together and come out with something totally different as their freshman effort. And all this is just a first reaction focusing on their voices!

    The backing music is just as fresh, which completes the painting of a wonderful world brought to life on Love This Giant. Backed by a brass section and electronic influenced drums and bass, each song seems to be a musical entity of it's own, but they all come together to form a theme. The theme, in my opinion is "Hey! Here's something new! And Awesome! Check it out!" The Afro-beat sound in songs such as The One Who Broke Your Heart was not all that surprising coming from Byrne, however, the funky Electronica inspired  subtle guitar work brings just enough freshness. Throw in St. Vincent's disco era influenced melodies on tracks such as Who, and you have something completely new in an industry that has not seen nearly enough innovation in the last 13 or so years.

    Love This Giant is just the call to arms we need in a musical world in danger of going flat. So do yourself a favor; put off whatever you're doing and embrace something new.

That's all for now, 'till next time, keep it cold