October 21, 2009

Isaac said he kissed you beneath the apple tree (oh!)


Dig this terrific remix of the Jackson Five classic “The Love You Save” (that sage 1970 warning against booty calls?) from NYC’s Lower East Side duo The Knocks, who have also given their fresh treatment to The Killers, Peter Bjorn & John, and Passion Pit.

I always find the Jacksons eminently remixable (DJ Z-Trip did my favorite ever, but this is also close). Their songs were so laden with strong foundational elements that can be teased out to the front in myriad different ways. Enjoy this for your Hump Day. Holy heck.

The Love You Save (The Knocks remix) – Jackson Five

Snag more free goodness from The Knocks here.

February 1, 2009

Snoop Dogg calls Johnny Cash a “real American gangster”


Johnny Cash Remixed (podcast, 13 minutes)

I found this podcast to be an interesting listen, detailing some of the history behind the new Johnny Cash Remixed album (Compadre Records). I’m not sure the originals needed remixing, but I was curious to hear the songs through a modern filter. Also, you can hear Snoop Dogg’s drawl on about Johnny being his “main man,” which  made me smile.

Twenty Johnny Cash classics (including “I Walk The Line”, “Folsom Prison Blues” and ‘Wide Open Road”) were licensed from legendary Sun Records, first record label home of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Roy Orbison, among others. Top remixers and producers were recruited to bring the sensibility and technology of 2008 to recordings universally accepted as timeless, with the blessing and support of the custodians of Johnny Cash’s legacy. The original tracks, recorded with Cash’s band the Tennessee Two, were pure and stark, with only the essentials; guitar, light percussion and Johnny’s unmistakable voice and presence. The new mixes maintain this fantastic charm and personality while filing out the sound and creating bold re-interpretations.

CONTEST: I have either a limited edition vinyl or a CD copy of this album to give away. You can leave me a comment if you’d like it and I’ll pick a random winner next weekend.

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July 17, 2008

The Dandy Warhols love you, independent record stores, free EPs

The Dandy Warhols are giving away free music starting this Saturday, just because they think you are neat. Really. Oh, and they want to pimp their new album in creative form.

Starting July 19, you can pick up a gratis copy of their Earth To The Remix EP Vol. 1 at your friendly local neighborhood record store, wherein each Dandy takes a turn remixing a track from their August 19th release Earth To The Dandy Warhols (Beat The World Records).

For a complete list of participating stores, visit the Record Store Day site. Also, there is an interesting new interview with leadman Courtney Taylor-Taylor in The Sentimentalist.

1. Come the Fuck On
(A Peter Holmstrom/ Jeremy Sherrer remix)
(A Taylor-Taylor / Jacob Portrait remix)
3. Welcome to the Skin-up Remix
(Fathead / Jeremy Sherrer)
4. Dub In The Lotus
(A Zia McCabe / Jeremy Sherrer Remix Paul Brainard – Pedal Steel)

LISTEN (from the new album):
The Legend of the Last Outlaw Truckers aka The Ballad of Sheriff Shorty – The Dandy Warhols

June 17 – Victoria, BC @ Element Nightclub
June 18 – Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre
June 20 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SoDo^
Sep 09 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue*
Sep 10 – Madison, WI @ Barrymore*
Sep 12 – Chicago, IL @ Vic Theater*
Sep 13 – Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus*
Sep 14 – Montreal, QC @ Club Soda*
Sep 16 – Boston, MA @ Wilbur Theatre*
Sep 17 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5*
Sep 20 – Philadelphia, PA @ TLA*
Sep 22 – Washington, DC @ 930 Club*
Sep 23 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse*
Sep 26 – Lawrence, KS @ Liberty Hall*
Sep 27 – Denver, CO @ Gothic Theater*
Sep 28 – Aspen, CO @ Belly Up*
Oct 03 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern #
Oct 04 – San Francisco, CA @ Warfield %
Oct 05 – Portland, OR @ The Roseland Theater*

More dates TBA

All shows with the Upsidedown
*With Darker My Love
# With A Place to Bury Strangers
% With the Charlatans
^With Monstrous

June 13, 2008

Black Dominoes remix Fleet Foxes

Normally if you called someone a bedroom knob-tweaker they might punch you (in the neck) but for Georgia-based mixmaster Kellen Crosby –aka Black Dominoes– it would probably garner you a hug. Mr. Crosby has a knack for pushing the constraints and possibilities in songs, and does mysterious things to them. Last time we heard a Black Dominoes cut it was that Vampire Weekend remix, which eventually went from here in blogland all the way up to the BBC. Cool.

Here’s the description of his newest remix, of a song originally by those shimmery SubPop signees Fleet Foxes:

Black Dominoes lets the soft echoes of the fivesome outside to play; the throttling back of some of the original drums only creates more space for soft whirrs and 909 whispers. The added hand drums in the beginning and end of the track interweave with the electronic elements of the song; the juxtaposition is not unlike eating a piece of foreign-grown organic produce on a busy street corner. Give it a shot if you would relish the idea of Feist or Animal Collective having a campout underneath the Brooklyn Bridge with the members of ESG or Cybotron.

Got that?

White Winter Hymnal (Black Dominoes remix) – Fleet Foxes

June 9, 2008

Monday Music Roundup

On Saturday night I decided quite by chance to see a Hebrew/Arabic language foreign film called The Band’s Visit, after finding myself downtown with no other plans. This is a humble and unassuming film about the Alexandria (Egyptian) Police Orchestra who end up in the wrong Israeli town on a concert trip. It’s quietly and subtly funny, although not a comedy. It touches on the human facets of Arab/Jewish tensions, although not a political film. The themes hover around the kindness of strangers, the depths of loneliness and desire, but most of all the power of music and its strange necessity to the soul. As the final credits rolled, I thought it deeply lovely. Go see it.

Plus, bonus points will be awarded if you also notice the scene where the big dude from the band looks exactly like an Egyptian Cee-Lo sitting on the couch.


It Could’ve Been Worse
Matthew Ryan
According to the liner notes, the new album from Matthew Ryan (Vs. The Silver State) was “rehearsed in [his] garage on Idaho Avenue during the summer of 2006. There was no air conditioning and more mosquitoes than musicians.” I can almost here the crickets and feel the humidity of a summer’s night on this gorgeous song. With lines that slyly borrow from the master of all repressed & padlocked teenage fury in smalltown America (“her mascara was born to run”), this album is rife with allusions to stymied desire and unfulfilled dreams. This song ruefully notes, “You promised her every thing, not knowing what every thing really was. She’s the first girl you kissed, she’s the first girl you miss when you feel like this, broken in the dark.” Be sure to also check out Aquarium Drunkard’s new Off The Record feature with Matthew Ryan.

Breakfast Score
The M’s
Chicago quintet The M’s have been keeping my ears happy for a couple years now. Each time our paths cross, I find something new to appreciate in their eclectic hybrid songwriting which melds terrific retro influences from disparate ends of the spectrum (think T. Rex meets Kinks?). Enjoy the sloppy, handclappy feel with a little rainy day women drunken singalong feel on this cut from their new record Real Close Ones. It came out last week on Polyvinyl Records, and plays up that spacey-glam edge around traditionally structured pop songs. They currently are touring with Centro-matic.

California Soul (Diplo remix)
Marlena Shaw

I have been consistently impressed with the visionary pairings of cratedigging deep cuts from decades past with modern mixmasters featured on the Verve Remixed series. They’ve just come out with Volume 4, and this preview mp3 resurrects the swanky sounds of Marlena Shaw (the first female vocalist signed to Blue Note Records) through the lens of hot-stuff Philly DJ/producer Diplo. The album boasts some ragingly fun remixes, from the R&B swing of Nina Simone-meets-Mike Mangini wailing “Gimme Some,” to the tinny Latin shimmy of the Astrud Gilberto/Psapp track, or the Afrobeat joy of “Dilo Como Yo.” It’s a conceptual series that just keeps getting better and pushing the boundaries, delightfully.

Revolution In The Heart
Ed Harcourt
Let’s just put this simply: I am a sucker for a man and a piano. There’s something so bold and yet nuanced, even heartbreaking about the way a good player can accompany his songs with that instrument. So it’s no surprise that I take a sheen to Sussex songwriter songwriter Ed Harcourt and his musical weapon of choice. I’ve heard Harcourt’s name bantied about from past tours with folks like Wilco, Feist and Magnet, but this swirling cut from his recent release Beautiful Lie is my first personal listening experience. There seems to be a lot to appreciate in this artist, over the cascades of ivories. The “new” album is really the belated U.S. release of his 2006 album, and it features Graham Coxon (Blur) as well as the Magic Numbers. Ed is currently on tour with the Gutter Twins.

Soul On Fire

This back-with-a-vengeance song from seminal British space rock/shoegaze ’90s band Spiritualized starts gently, with lyrics about being born on a black day shot through with starlight, over an intimate acoustic strum. But before the first minute passes, all the strings swell and rise together and there’s a hurricane in your veins. It’s terrifically stirring yet somehow comforting, as if I’ve heard it a thousand times before and want to be a part of it. It’s a tourbus singalong, it’s a gospel choir, it’s a ballad just for me. Songs In A&E is out now (Spaceman/Fontana International).

Oh, and . . . Forza Azzurri!

February 21, 2008

Black Dominoes remix of Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa, and a Vampire Weekend prize pack

One listen to this catchy-as-all-get-out song is usually all it takes to have me whistling it for a large part of the day. I’m getting really good at it; someone should make the Heather Browne Whistle Remix.

Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa (Black Dominoes remix)- Vampire Weekend

The guy who remixed this writes: “Black Dominoes is my new nome de remix and I gig out in the Southeast as Kellen John Kid Danger. I’ve shared bills with people like the Black Kids, DJ Klever, the Selmanaires, Flosstradamus, Treasure Fingers, Deerhunter, HR and Dr. Know from Bad Brains, the Black Lips, Snowden etc. I’m based in Atlanta but I actually just did a great gig this weekend at the 40 Watt Club in Athens.

I thickened up the original Vampire Weekend track with some Chico Sonido percussion and some beats jacked with the help of Blaqstarr and Diplo. The female MC is Rye Rye from Baltimore–I think her ‘response’ to the original Vampire Weekend verses add another dimension to the track.”

I love it.

In related news, Beggars Group/XL Recordings is giving away a prize package for this buzz album of 2008 that includes some cool Vampire Weekend schwag — a copy of the Mansard Roof 7″ single, an autographed poster, a scarf or hat, and best of all a pair of tickets to a local show. Most folks I know who have caught these guys live are instant converts.

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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