blog 2009/07/03 - Another 78 minutes by which you can measure your life and tally your circumstances.
I just wanted to throw some mad shoutouts to Hintonburg: The ultimate place for NGO hipsters to raise children. You rock!
Salutations! We are back to get all up in your business.
Bassnectar - Art of Revolution: I always love it when a blog starts with a track like this. Pure dubstep cheeze perfection. Hard slamming bass, rad samples looped with just the right repetition, and a subbass squelch that could make it fit in to a chiller dubstep set or a streetbass party. It seems that Bassnectar, who once did more glitchy breaks-n-bass, have gone the same route as almost every single other beats producer: dancey dubstep. I guess go where the Beatport money is, right? At least it is quality, as there is more than enough poor dubstep out there.
Dada Life - Happy Hands & Happy Feet: We keep things popping at a steady butt-jiggle pace here. Dada Life is one of my favourite electrohouse producers, churning out a number of high quality dancefloor classics. They always go out of their way to make ridiculously happy songs too. This would be a gamble for a lesser producer, but they pull off this delirious feat with gurning glee. Glowsticks for everyone!
Dan Deacon - Build Voice: Dan Deacon is that post-rave hipsterism that has been the hallmark of every "hipster electronica" album, and marks that moment in their young lives where they discovered new places they could insert their glowsticks. After that, it was all downhill. They fell in to years of jadedness and snark. Only once they came to embrace that inner glowstick again were they able to come forth, beards and all, and shout "I'm here, I use glowsticks as a buttplug, and I wish it wasn't creepy someone my age to rave!" And huzzah, joyous hipster electronica came to the clubs. Now all of the kids that once raved no longer have good hookups for their drugs and just drink and wiggle to Dan Deacon et all. It's not a bad life, just don't expect him topping my best of 2009 list. Would you ever expect plaid at a rave?
Dead Prez vs Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks Of Hip Hop: The mashup fell out of popular favour once everyone realized that novelty alone wasn't enough to make 2 songs work together. Mind you, it wasn't rocket science: You just needed basic production skills, some musical and technical tastefulness, and voila. I am overjoyed that the deluge of mashups fell out of grace (and Soulwax went on to do something new and awesome) and now we just have occasional trickles. In this post Grey Album world, I point to mashups like this as examples of the bland process executed correctly. Take notes.
Don Diablo - Pussycat Too ft Example: This gets my vote as the most amusing hiphop song of 2009 so far. "Example" (uggh get a better MC name, please!) weaves a blurry metaphor of him vs women as dogs vs cats. The fuzzy lines between his metaphorical constructs and his furry fandom fantasies just make it that much more twisted and raw. Break out the fun-fur and get funky.
Grizzly Bear will be on almost every "best of 2009" list with their new LP Veckatimest. And you know what? So will Phoenix with their "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix".
Both albums are immediately accessible and catchy. Both have great song writing and production values.
Grizzly Bear has a bit more of an indie nod and veers slightly in to the Animal Collective style chord structures. Phoenix has more catchy vocals leaning towards Vampire Weekend style twee blissout, but mixed with a maturity that would appeal to any fan of The National or Peter Gabriel.
Both albums are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
I have been listening to a lot of Morton Feldman lately. This 20th century composer was especially known for his minimalist constructions and sometimes enduringly long pieces, some 6 hours or more.
I haven't been listening to a specific album in particular, but a number of his albums simultaneously. Literally: Layering them on top of each other with multiple players going.
The piece here is from Crippled Symmetry, a wonderfully meditative work which, while not exactly game-changing in his oeuvre, is one of the most heralded examples.
Randy Newman - A Few Words In Defense Of Our Country: OK, I never would have expected to see this hear either. My only real reference to Randy Newman is the parody of him on Family Guy. (left foot right foot left foot right foot)
I was a bit shocked to see such glowing reviews of his 2008 album Harps and Angels, and so I had to check it out. While I can't get behind it as a whole, it was a surprise at how palatable his ramshackle rambling rants were. He has one song on it that is a total copy of Tom Waits "Picture In A Frame", which is actually a bit good, and the rest is a somewhat-awkward somewhat parodying slice of storyteller Americana. Not essential, but certainly curious.
Tarek Mansur - Destined: This is the kind of record that would get me all wet. You'd go in to your local record store and you'd dig through a crate of vinyl ambiguously titled "Electronic" and you'd find this odd EP at the back with an odd-yet-interestingly designed cover and an unknown name, on an unknown label. You'd take it up to the turntable and get floored. One side would be lush abstract soundscapes, and the other would be a dark mindfuck IDM revolution. This is the record that would make your day of vinyl buying complete, and would be the ultimate thing to get high to in your dark glowing basement. Highly recommended. Tarek Mansure is good times.
The Acorn - Good Enough (Cyndi Lauper cover): What a surprise this was! Another little treat from Ottawa's best band, and one the greatest exports Canada has to offer. They are touring with the likes of Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver and Calexico now. Hopefully this will calm our nerves until they return safe and sound.
"Thefreehoudini" is the new album from Themselves, and cleverly so, it is available free online. With a deep roster of guests (including bigger names like Slug and Aesop Rock), it is a must-have. The tracks I chose to include here have lesser-known MCs guesting, but to me they are the standouts. It is so good to hear Lionesque back in action, 11 years after first appearing on Dose One's Hemispheres.
Highly recommended for anyone in to abstract hiphop.
get the whole she-bang here: http://www.anticon.com/thefreehoudini/
Wildbirds & Peacedrums - There Is No Light: This organic duo pulses and swells. This is the most infectious throbbing music I have heard in a long time. With the orgiastic fever of Yoko Ono in her prime, but with quality song writing and DIY lust. Another perfect way to leave you.
THIS WEEK'S TRACKS:
Bassnectar - Art of Revolution
Dada Life - Happy Hands & Happy Feet
Dan Deacon - Build Voice
Dead Prez vs Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks Of Hip Hop
Don Diablo - Pussycat Too ft Example
Grizzly Bear - Cheerleader
Grizzly Bear - Southern Point
Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks
Morton Feldman - Crippled Symmetry, Region 3 (1999 recording)
Phoenix - Big Sun
Phoenix - Girlfriend
Randy Newman - A Few Words In Defense Of Our Country
Tarek Mansur - Destined
The Acorn - Good Enough (Cyndi Lauper cover)
Themselves - Back2burn ft Pedestrian
Themselves - Keys To Ignition ft Serengeti
Themselves - Long Time Coming ft Lionesque
Wildbirds & Peacedrums - There Is No Light
OK, one more, but then back to sleep: http://thetastates.com/mp3s/blog/blog20090703.zip
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