Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Mixer #2: Driving Music is Up!

Hey all! Week 2 of the Monday Mixer up on The Metropolitan Jolt! It's another great collection of tracks, this time with a theme: driving music. Check it out, and be sure to check out all the other blogs involved. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I'm particularly proud of my contribution this week.

Listen on MetroJolt
Listen on 8tracks

Or check out last week's mixer here.

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Childish Gambino's "Freaks and Geeks" is Damn Fun

I like musicians in tuxes. I blame Janelle Monae.

Childish Gambino is the musical moniker of Donald Glover, best known as Troy from the NBC show Community, which I will admit I have never watched.

Seeing as he is a comedian, as well as a writer 30 Rock, it is no surprise that Glover's lyrics are clever, funny, and very entertaining. The lyrics are casual, he sounds like he's just shooting the shit, talking about his buddies and bragging about sexual exploits. That relaxed tone makes a nice contrast with the very epic feeling beat, another highlight of the track. It combines strings, xylophone, trip-hop drum machines, martial snare drum, and stadium chant vocals. Altogether, its one of the catchiest, most appealing hip-hop tracks I've heard in some time.

Freaks and Geeks - Childish Gambino

Update: It's got a pretty sweet video too, check it out.

Freaks and Geeks from Donald Glover on Vimeo.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

First Monday Mixer is Up!

Hey all, Listening to the Song in My Head just became a part of something very cool, a weekly multi-blog playlist called the Monday Mixer. Everyone involved is really fantastic, and this is gonna be a great way to find a ton of awesome music every week. This first one has no theme, but there will be a theme from here forward. So head over to Metropolitan Jolt for the Monday Mixer #1. Enjoy!

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Alexander and Middle Brother Update: The Anticipation Builds

Made that sweet Middle Brother collage myself, on Microsoft Paint no less.

As you should all well know, March 1st is going to be a very exciting day, as it will see the release of Alex Ebert's solo album Alexander and the self-titled album from supergroup Middle Brother (originally addressed here and here respectively). Anyway, both groups have released a second track from the upcoming albums, and I thought I may as well discuss them together.

The Alex Ebert track is entitled "In the Twilight", and stays right in the same hippie-folk vein he's been in, but with good results. It's not quite as interesting as "Truth", but it definitely keeps my hopes up for the album.

Middle Brother's title track, "Middle Brother" is very standard up-beat alt-country. Sure it's a bit generic, but I don't think that anyone could do classic alt-country better than these guys. It's catchy, it's up-beat, and above all, it's just plain fun. If this is what the whole album is going to sound like, I will be thrilled. Enjoy!

In the Twilight - Alex Ebert
Middle Brother - Middle Brother

PS: Look out for something cool coming tomorrow morning!

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Javelin - Mossy Woodland

Though not new, this track recently came my direction by way of the wonderful Downplayer. It's a rather pleasant combination of Disney strings, synthesizers, and percussion which manages to be much more interesting than that description would lead you to believe. It's from their debut, No Mas, which came out last year. Check it out.

Mossy Woodland - Javelin

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

10 ft. Ganja Plant - "Let the Music Hit"

As part of my continued mission to bring some sunshine to those of you snowed in this winter, I give to you a track from my favorite roots reggae crew, 10 ft. Ganja Plant. "Let the Music Hit" has got a wonderfully relaxed ambiance, some great horns, and the best reggae singer you've ever heard wanting to know "how the music makes you feel". Let that riff wash over your body like the warm sunshine.

Let the Music Hit - 10 ft. Ganja Plant

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lisandro Meza and La Murga (de Panama)

You know you can't say no to that face.

Sorry about the missed post, and about the short length of today's post, things have gotten very busy lately, and I haven't had much time to find or listen to music. Things should be fully back on track soon.

Since I have to be rather brief tonight, I thought I would share with you one of the catchiest dance numbers I've heard lately. "La Murga (De Panama)" was originally released in 1971 by Willie Colon, a Nuyorican (that's New York + Puerto Rican) salsa musician, and has been covered countless times. My personal favorite cover was done by Lisandro Meza, a famous Cumbia musician. His version speeds up the song significantly, replaces the trombone riff with accordion, and adds some cowbell. The original is pretty damn good as well, but just doesn't move your feet quite like the Meza version does.

La Murga (de Panama) - Lisandro Meza

La Murga (de Panama) - Willie Colon

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lord Echo's Melodies

Note: I originally wrote this for Silence Nogood, where it appeared last Sunday.

Quick, come up with 3 countries you think would be most likely to produce 2010′s chillest album. Was New Zealand on your list? Didn’t think so, but it’s time to change that.

Lord Echo is the solo moniker of New Zealander, Mike Fabulous, a veteran of the Wellington music scene and member of the reggae band The Black Seeds. Melodies is his first solo release, and damn has he nailed it. He has taken a full complement of synthesizers, keyboards, guitars, basses, and horns, provided by both himself and a variety of other Wellington musicians, and crafted a masterpiece which blends reggae, dub, soul, afro, disco, funk, and jazz. The album is wall to wall brilliant, 53 minutes of pure sunshine and bliss. It’s hypnotic, it’s relaxing, and it is pure musical genius.

Fabulous doesn’t have any sort of web presence, and in fact, I cannot find any place to purchase the album unless you happen to live in New Zealand (in which case you can do so right here). That being the case, I don’t feel too bad telling you that a Google search of “Lord Echo Melodies” will turn up plenty of places where you can download it for free.

The album’s highlight is the 11th and final track, a cover of the Sister Sledge song “Thinking of You”, featuring Lisa Tomlins on vocals. It has been particularly helpful in getting me going on foggy, cold days this week.

If winter is getting you down, here is your antidote. Remember, right now, it’s summer in New Zealand.

Thinking of You - Lord Echo

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

RIP White Stripes, I will love you guys forever

Today, The White Stripes officially announced that they are breaking up. On their website, Jack stated that they reached this decision "mostly to preserve what is beautiful and special about the band and have it stay that way." Jeff Weiss memorialized them far better than I ever could in one of the most well-written, moving pieces of music journalism I have read in a long time. If you're a fan, you absolutely have to read it, and if not, maybe you will be converted.

The Union Forever: R.I.P White Stripes (1997-2011) on Passion of the Weiss

As my own tribute, I will just provide my favorite White Stripes performance of any song of all time, a cover of Dolly Parton's "Jolene", live at Blackpool Lights. It perfectly sums up everything I love about them. Listen to Jack's banter before the song and witness his pure genius. And the song itself is so raw, played straight from the heart and full of his soul.

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