Indefinite Hiatus

I am saddened to say that I will have to put my blog on an indefinite hiatus due to the fact that I currently have more than I can handle on my plate. I want to thank everyone that has ever visited this blog. I hope I have pleasured your eardrums.

You may continue to follow me on Twitter, where I will still post song recommendations and links to any other cool music related news/songs/etc. I will also continue to be a guest-blogger on Pretty Much Amazing! The Music Blog.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Brother Ali - Freedom Aint Free

So I use blood and sweat to butter my bread
Cause this cold world couldn't give a fuck if I'm fed

Brother Ali is an albino rapper. But don't let the light skin fool you, he's a very talented MC. A devout Muslim, Ali was discovered in 2000 by the Rhymesayers Crew who took him along to Scribble Jam where Ali became a finalist. His debut album, Shadows on the Sun, was released 3 years later and produced by Atmosphere's Ant. His music is raw and honest. He raps about being albino, Muslim, & dealing with his divorce and battle for custody of his son among other life struggles.

"Freedom Aint Free" is a reggae influenced track where Ali slows down his flow and speaks from the heart. Not all his songs are so serious though. You'll find a good mix of upbeat songs as well and even a few "silly" tracks. Regardless though, he is lyrically gifted and one of the best rappers of our generation.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Lonely Island - Boombox

Your preconceived notions were shattered
By these super old white people dancing

I don't typically care for comedy albums. I was never a fan of Tenacious D, although I like Jack Black, and can only take so much of Circus. What's that you say? Britney's album wasn't meant to be comedy? Hm ... could've fooled me. No, but seriously, The Lonely Island not only makes me laugh a lot but I find that I seriously dig the production on their debut--Incredibad. An odd title considering how good it actually is and how much people across the board seem to really like it, but the closing track creates a rather humorous story behind the name.

"Boombox," featuring Julian Casablancas (love that name) of The Strokes, is one of the better songs on the album both lyrically and musically. The song is about the power a boombox has over a bunch of old white people. I really don't want to say more than that cause I'd prefer you just listened to the lyrics yourself.

Favorite Part: Julian's contribution to the chorus.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lykke Li - Little Bit

And for you I keep my legs apart
And forget about my tainted heart

If you know me or have been following my blog, or more specifically, my Twitter, then you know that I have grown quite fond of Swedish indie pop star, Lykke Li. I have now made it my mission in life to take her hand in marriage. So I thought I'd use today's blog post to share another song off her debut album, Youth Novels, and also to share some of the reasons why she has quickly become one of my favorite "new" artists.

Firstly, today's eargasm: "Little Bit." At first I simply loved the music and feel to the song but as I listened to it more and more I realized how much I absolutely love the lyrics. As the album title suggests, the songs are about youth and this song, specifically, sums young (& naive) love perfectly with lyrics like "I would do it/Push a button/Pull a trigger/Climb a mountain/Jump off a cliff/Cause you know baby/I love you love you/A little bit." Remember in high school when you first fell in love, or thought you did (or maybe you are right now!), and felt like you would do any sort of foolish thing for the person, but at the same time didn't know jack about love other than if the person loved you then you loved them too? Yeah, neither do I. But I'm sure many out there are/were like that. But I digress ... just listen:

Here are a few other reasons why she's awesome:

1. She was a dancer & gets her groove on on stage. She's an all out amazing performer and puts a lot of effort into getting the crowd involved and dancing as well.

2. She does amazing covers. I was fortunate enough to see her perform a cover to one of my favorite Kings of Leon songs--"Knocked Up." Check it:

3. She loves hip hop and shows it:

I could probably go on but I don't want to sound obsessive (in case I already haven't). Please feel free to share any of your favorite Lykke Li songs/moments in the comments!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Goodbye to the Mother and the Cove

To wear no clothes
To strike no pose

I still haven't decided how I feel about Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. On the one hand I feel the vocals prevent me from really liking them, but on the other hand I find that every time I listen to Some Loud Thunder I find myself enjoying a lot of the songs. In conclusion, they're musically talented but the vocals might not be your cup of tea. Despite that, the band did surprisingly well after self releasing their debut LP, actually selling more than 6 figures worth of albums.

One of the songs I find myself enjoying a lot is "Goodbye to the Mother and the Cove." I almost want to say it's a very simple song but only in comparison to some of the other songs on the album (i.e. "Satan Said Dance"). That could be due to the fact that it's rhythmically steady in the sense that the instruments don't change very much throughout most of the song and instead provide a solid backbone for Ounsworth's vocals to soar. Contrary to what I stated before about the vocals, this ends up working quite well. Go figure.

Favorite Part: When the song finally does change up a bit and we're introduced to some rolling drums. The lyrics here are short lines of 2-3 words which give the song a very march-like effect.

Monday, February 23, 2009

My Brightest Diamond - Workhorse

Cause you're no good to us
Lost all your youth

What initially stood out to me about Shana Worden of My Brightest Diamond were her vocals. A classically trained vocalist and talented musician, Worden's songs contain elements of rock, classical and cabaret styles of music. Obvious comparisons are artists like Bjork & Kate Bush but I still find originality in My Brightest Diamond. After all, it's expected when you have someone who was raised by a National Accordion Champion-winning father and an organist for a Pentecostal church; who studied opera at the University of North Texas; and who then moved to New York City and found herself delving into the depths of the underground rock scene.

"Workhorse" is off her debut album--Bring Me the Workhorse. Prior to this album, Worden toured with Sufjan Stevens as cheerleading captain for his "Illinoisemakers." After this tour she set out to record her own music under the moniker, My Brightest Diamond and released her debut on Steven's Asthmatic Kitty in 2006.

Favorite Part: I like the elements of trip hop. I really feel like this could be a Portishead song.

BTW: If you haven't checked out the Dark Was the Night compilation you really should. It's an amazing collection of tracks by, well, a lot of amazing artists! Plus, all proceeds go to benefit the Red Hot Organization which is dedicated to raising money and awareness for HIV and AIDS. One of my favorite songs on there is My Brightest Diamond's cover of Nina Simone's "Feeling Good." Thanks to the site I was able to make the following widget so you can check out my top 3 tracks:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Beirut - The Akara

So long, my fate has changed
It's hindering

Beirut released two EPs earlier this week: March of the Zapotec and Holland. Similar to what Bright Eyes did with Digital Ash/I'm Wide Awake, the EPs are split stylistically between a more acoustic sound (March) versus electronic (Holland). The former is typical Zach Condon except this time Eastern Europe is replaced by Mexico in terms of musical influence. In fact, Zach went to Oaxaca, Mexico where he recorded several songs in a small village with a 19 piece collective known as the Jimenez Band.

Despite the fact that Holland may seem far removed from Beirut's previously released albums, it's actually much closer to his original roots as a musician. When Beirut first starting recording music in his bedroom while in high school, he was primarily composing electronic music. It wasn't until he left America to travel throughout Europe that he began to write the style of music that has now become much more closely associated with him. The kind that is deeply influenced by the cultures he immerses himself in.

"The Akara" is a track from March of the Zapotec. It starts off much like "Gulag Orkestar" with it's funeral march-like trumpets followed by a slightly happier tune. Given that this was recorded in Mexico, it's a perfect display of the cultures philosophies on death in that it is something to both mourn and celebrate.

Favorite Part: The trumpets that play throughout the song provided by the local band. I think it's way cool that he actually used an authentic group of musicians rather than come back to the States and hire random people to simply recreate the sound.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vetiver - Everyday

Everyday I'm away from you
Shakes me up inside

Vetiver dropped their 4th LP yesterday--Tight Knit. What initially interested me about the band was that Devendra Banhart appears on some of their songs. And since I love Devendra I thought I might like Vetiver as well. Turns out I do like Vetiver but it's still Devendra FTW!

Vetiver is the brainchild of the singer/songwriter Andy Cabic. Raised in northern Virginia, Cabic eventually moved to N. Carolina where he met future band members. After moving to San Francisco he began to recruit the likes of Devendra and Joanna Newsom to record the self titled debut album. In 2004 he also helped Devendra co-write "At the Hop" off Rejoicing in the Hands.

"Everyday" is the first single off their latest album. The album prior to this was a compilation of cover songs from the '60s and '70s. The songs on Tight Knit reflect Cabic's love for these eras. In fact, he is due to produce Vashti Bunyan's (the so called "God Mother of Freak Folk") next album.

Favorite Part: The very dreamy & happy feel the song has to it.