Saturday, March 26, 2011

LPFM and the Future of Radio In America (!)

AN ARTICLE worth reading for anyone who's interested in radio. This is perhaps part of the future for us small-timers.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Reggie Watts Is The Man

Reggie Watts is the man. He's got a fantastic afro, a fantastic persona, and a fantastic falsetto. THIS LINK will prove that to you. I'm stoked to see him at Sasquatch Music Festival this summer but am also seriously concerned for his health under the bright, Washingtonian sun. Reggie Watts is a comedian, musician, and slam poet. He performs under varying personas in a single show and makes up impromptu soul-ballads while delivering jokes ranging from racial issues he faces to toilet humor.

Reggie was born in Germany and has five names: Reginald Lucien Frank Roger Watts. Epic. He was raised in Montana and took piano and voice lessons through his childhood. Watts currently resides in Brooklyn and performs frequently. He opened for Conan O'Brein on the Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour and for, oddly enough, Regina Spektor. Watts even contributed vocals to Spektor's track "Dance Anthem of the 80's." He has performed all over the world and has his own Comedy Central Special Presentation entitled, "Why S*** So Crazy?"

Reggie Watts clearly has a beautiful stage presence. He's commanding, likable, and clearly knows his way around audio loops and soul hooks. Plus, he seems like the most down-to-earth dude coming out of Brooklyn these days. Check out his videos below.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Perils of Pusha T's Drug Pushing

Pusha T has clearly been around the block. Clipse, his duo with Malice, permanently spit about moving kilos of both powder and green. In the single Wamp Wamp (What It Do) he raps about Ferraris, selling drugs, and how the art of hustlin' seems to be recession proof with lines like: "Down to the watches, alligator strap / Six different timezones, I don't set her back / 17 a brick, yeah, go and tell 'em that / I got the wamp wamp when I move it, it's still damp" and "What's under the couch? Probably freeze up Santa / Whatever it cost, baby, we got answers / Line outside full of Jo Jo Dancers / 'We got it for cheap,' That's the re-up anthem." The bravado of Clipse, and Pusha T in particular, is something that turned me off until recently. Being a group that is often the only mentioned member of the sub-genere labled "coke-rap" never encouraged me to delve into their catalogue very deeply.

Despite this, I was won over by Kanye West. Featured on the G.O.O.D. Friday track "Looking For Trouble" in addition to two tracks from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy--"So Appalled" and notably "Runaway"--Pusha T is now a household name, if your family listens to good music. Malice and Pusha T are taking a break from Clipse for the moment, giving Malice time to write a book currently entitled Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind & Naked. Pusha T has been busy durring this break. He recently signed to Kanye West's record label and has two new singles out. Clearly he's still rapping about his European rides and the copious amounts of powder he's involved in.

Featuring improved production, clearly a product of his teamwork with Kanye, the singles showcase the raspy side of his flow, emphasizing the emotion in Pusha T's life. He even goes as far to show his weaknesses in the new track "Alone In Vegas" with lines like, "Seems like I'm doomed to dealing with women who / Relationships with their fathers won't allow them to bloom." The two tracks don't deviate much from his signature boasting, but that's fine; it's nice to hear a Pusha T that's more in tune with his emotions, even if they do still involve the hardships of selling drugs by the kilo.

His new LP, entitled Fear Of God drops on March 21st. Stream and download the singles HERE.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

1990's 101

Pavement is the greatest band in the world. Inherent in their sound is a sort of nonchalant swagger that is rarely reproduced. Their albums function as both separate entities and as a complete discography while their tracks can more than stand alone. But for me, it's Stephen Malkmus's off-the-cuff lyrics that truly hit home. Ranging from the apologetic yearning of Gold Soundz-"And you're the kind of girl I like / Because you're empty and I'm empty / And you can never quarantine the past"-to the absurdity of Blue Hawaiian-"Aloha means goodbye, and also hello--it's in how you inflect"-Malkmus crafts songs that both grow and mature with repeated listenings.

Yuck, a band who's self-titled debut was released in February by Fat Possum Records, is essentially the 90's. They manage to embody the detached aspect of Malkmus's delivery while maintaining a sense of longing that is present in many of Sonic Youth's tracks. However, the entire album feels fresh. It may be its juxtaposition with the bleep-bloop, chill-wave music being pumped out of independent labels recently, but the entire album strikes me as being unusually raw and tangible. I can only hope more will come from Yuck in the future.

Tracks to download immediately include the album opener and first single, Get Away, and the slow-jam, entitled Sunday.

Yuck is also playing a show in Montreal on April 30th. Be there or be square.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Civilization - Justice

The soundscape of 2007 was one of a “operatic-disco” in which bass lines were fuzzed and disco-tropes were fizzled out and strung back together. The commercial success of Justice and their album was substantial for its label, Ed Banger Records, when, in 2007, the Justice remix of Simian’s “Never Be Alone” charted well in addition to the Uffie single entitled “Pop The Glock.” The sound of summer 2007 was dominated with the ubiquitous track “D.A.NC.E.” Given its multitude of remixes, samples, and mash-ups, “D.A.N.C.E.” is still seeing play counts today. But all of this may be no more.

Justice is back with a new single. While their sophomore LP is not set for release until April 4, 2011, the track “Civilization” is featured on a current Adidas commercial. As of now, there is no released version without the overwhelming foreground sounds of skateboarding, soccer matches, boxing, Katy Perry rehearsing, Super Bowl cheerleaders, and basketball games. But, for me, that’s just fine considering that I’m listening to a new Justice banger.

The single features an intense buildup and eventual beat drop, which is characteristic of pretty much every house track this side of David Guetta. But the track features a surprisingly unfiltered piano in the back. While this is not necessarily a new feature of dance music, it does play well with the huge synthesizer-power-chord-equivalent that is every-present is any Justice or Justice-produced project. While it is hard to talk about a track having only seen it in an Adidas commercial, I get the feeling that “Civilization” is a harbinger for an April filled with the truth that is Justice.