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Monster by KanYe West

featuring Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver & Nicki Minaj

A couple weeks back I heard Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) was working with KanYe on his new album, Dark Twisted Fantasy, due out in mid-November. A collaboration with Vernon is just what KanYe needs, especially after hearing Vernon’s work on GAYNGS.

A preview of what’s to come was posted yesterday on KanYe’s blog. The new mix, “Monster” shows some promise for these two, especially when you throw Jay-Z into the mix. Unfortunately, the two others featured, Rick Ross & Nicki Minaj, aren’t as promising.

Not just 24 hours ago, I was listening to MTV – we all have our guilty pleasures at 4 am (usually infomercials for me) [...]

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Deja Vu by Analyrical

"Come 'n' catch a buzz and unleash the beast."

I was gonna feature “Deja Vu” back in November of last year, but I thought I’d wait till the album was released. Well, I still haven’t listened to the album, so I thought I’d drop this before I do.

What hooked me to Analyrical – other than his Minnesota ties – was his style. Lately I’ve seen the majority of Minneapolis MC’s gear their style towards the lyrically driven East Coast. And as much love as I have for it, over the years I’ve gone Westward bound towards the more laid-back, soul/funk driven style.

Now, I wouldn’t say Analyrical has a West Coast style, just more west in his Midwest style. Give “Deja Vu” a listen and tell me what you think of it. I’m still trying to figure out the whole classification thing, though it’s becoming more & more obsolete these days.

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A Strange Arrangement by Mayer Hawthorne

Sounds like something from There's Something About Mary.

I’m starting to realize that new styles of music takes some getting use to. You can’t just jump right in and expect to ‘get’ it – you gotta get a feel for it first.

At first I wasn’t feeling Mayer Hawthorne’s album, A Strange Arrangement, back when it came out in Sept. of ’09. Didn’t really think it was my kind of music, so I let it go. Then I saw the music video for his song, “Your Easy Lovin’ Ain’t Pleasin’ Nothin'” (featured in the full article), on a blog I frequent, and liked it so much I thought I’d give the album another go.

Although I’m still getting use to his pop-style R&B, Hawthorne’s lyrics are smart and fun to sing a long to… too fun to sing to (it’s still stuck in my head!). The entire album may not be full of entirely catchy tunes, like [...]

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Ill-Oet: The Last Element by Libretto

Love Lifesavas? Love Libretto.

When I first heard Lifesavas around five, six years ago, I liked ‘em so much I had to find anything else like ‘em. That group was Libretto or so I thought. For all these years I thought Libretto was a group, but now that I researched a little, I find out the ‘group’ was actually just one person. I guess it just shows what I thought a group could do one man pulled off.

What he pulled off would be the funkalicious album, Ill-Oet: The Last Element, back in ’04. Libretto’s also releasing some new singles soon, but until we can get our hands on them we’ll stick with his first album.

Ill-Oet: The Last Element has the quality of a Lifesavas album with two exceptions. Lyrically, Libretto doesn’t stack up to what Vursatyl & Jumbo, the two MC’s of Lifesavas, can do. Libretto’s Ill-Oet: The Last Element also doesn’t have the consistency that each Lifesavas LP does. He may not have the amount of hits that Lifesavas does, but he does have a few. Check out the two best, “Last Drop” & “Volume” – the latter actually features Lifesavas, and see what impressed me so much by this one-man band.

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Far Away Trains Passing By by Ulrich Schnauss

featuring the musically induced high, Between Us and Them.

If you’ve got time, listen to Ulrich Schnauss’s “Between Us and Them” all the way through. The song is a growing sequence that builts on top of it self, and doesn’t flourish until well into the second half. It’s best listened to in the darkness of the night or, better yet, out in the open summer’s sun (ok, just in a quiet place). Either way it’ll put your mind at ease… which will help me offset all the dubstep I’ve been listening to.

As for the rest of the album, it carries on with the same vibe as “Between Us and Them”, but doesn’t hit the highs that the featured song does. It, however, is still an excellent collection of soothing ambient sounds. If you really need to get out of your head for a while, this will get you there.

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Starfucker by Starfucker

I just love sayin' their name, Starfucker!

The only reason I listened to these guys, initially, was their name – Starfucker. I thought it was the coolest band name I’d heard in a while, but I also thought it was meant as a metaphor for “fucking” a star (like the ones in the sky), not the more obvious fucking a star (like the ones in the movies). I’ll admit, I wasn’t as impressed, but the name still rolls off the tongue nicely – or maybe that’s just my fascination with the word, fuck.

Aside from Starfucker’s name, their first album, also called Starfucker, was a pleasant surprise – I’m not that into indie rock, yet, but I really enjoyed a few songs off this. The album had a nice blend of electronic instrumentals with an indie rock vibe. It resembled Broken Bells, which whom I’ve really gotten into lately.

The top songs I picked, if you’re not playing them already, are “Florida”, “Gregory Erickson the Second” & “German Love”. I read on a forum that “German Love” is a true story about a guy from Germany who made sex tapes with his girlfriend but didn’t exactly tell her about making the tapes. Well, he put up a site with the videos (also called a porn site) and it blew up in popularity. She found out and dumped his ass, and so the rest of the story goes. Who knows if it’s true, but it’s a good story to tie along with the song.

Let me know what your favorite song is out of these three.. or any other Starfucker song, if you’re into ‘em…

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To All My Friends by Atmosphere

Leave it to Slug to lay down some sentimental goodness.

“To All My Friends” originally debuted at Soundset 2010, but was officially released today to kick off Atmosphere’s To All My Friends tour.

The song has a laid-back vibe reminiscent of the group’s latest album, When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold. Leave it to Slug to lay down some sentimental goodness. He talks about his earlier years, wanting to be an artist: painting & drawing, but dropped it after he fell in love with the turntable. Somehow he’s stayed humble through it all and sure shows it through his lyrics.

The tour runs through September into October mostly covering the West and Midwest areas. Hopefully, I can hit up the Chicago set, there isn’t anything in Minnesota this time around (I guess we have it good enough).

On a side note, what do you all think of FELT I can’t seem to get into ‘em like I do with Slug’s & Murs’s other projects…

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Ryan Olson Interviewed on The Local Show

at his studio in Northeast Minneapolis, high as fuck. (I presume)

This last sunday, The Local Show with David Campbell on the Current did an interview with the mix mastermind, Ryan Olson – founder of GAYNGS, co-founder of Mel Gibson and the Pants, and occasional bass player for Building Better Bombs. I posted it up on here because I’ve been lacking on the interviews, so I thought I’d do the next best thing, steal one!

Check out the recording of the interview in the full article!

When you start listening to the interview, you begin to realize Olson’s voice doesn’t sound quite right; that’s because he auto-tune’d it. It sounds strange (and stupid, to be honest), but after a couple of minutes it’s kinda funny (and still stupid). The interview covers a little about Olson’s past, some talk on GAYNGS and a lot about what he’s currently up to. At least half the show is taken up by Olson’s favorite music from the Midwest – a good eclectic taste. I cut out the second half of the show because Olson’s interview is only the first half. If you want to listen to the second half, go to The Current – more good tunes.

I took a couple of Olson’s best and featured ‘em below: two from Mel Gibson and the Pants and one from GAYNGS. Let me know what you think of each song and the diverse sound Olson producers.

It was my original intent for this site, and always will be, to promote Mel Gibson and the Pants, along with a handful of others – and growing each day.

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The Black N Gold by Wale, better than Sparro’s?

with a few hilarious Seinfeld samples.

Sam Sparro’s “Black and Gold” was the theme song of my travels throughout the UK – “Area Codes” by Ludacris was a close second (inside story). So when I heard Wale was doing a remix of the song, I had to take a listen.

At first I was skeptical of a rap artist remixing an electro-R&B song (or whatever the hell genre it is). But after listening to it a couple times, it does a good job of taking the original and carrying its own, not just simply rapping over the same beat. It may not be as good as Sam Sparro’s, but it’s still worth mention.

As for the rest of the album, it’s got some decent tracks and I’m starting to dig Wale’s flow, but none of them stood out like “The Black N Gold”. Other than the remix of “Black & Gold”, the best thing about the album was its Seinfeld samples, fucking hilarious – check out the full album to catch these.

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Baby, I Love Your Way (Live) by Peter Frampton

Know Good Classics - #5 (Rock)

I’ve been lacking in the classic rock listening lately, so I thought I’d feature one of my favorite love songs. Maybe this will rekindle my interest in good ol’ rock.

With classic rock songs, usually the live version is better than the recorded – I think the crowd brings out the passion in the musician. Frampton’s lyrics in “Baby, I Love Your Way” may be simple, but that’s what makes it so sweet. The song gets me all mushy every time I listen to it. Hell, it makes me wanna be Frampton’s baby… for the song. I wouldn’t go as far as saying this is the best love song of all time, but it’s in the top two (Atmosphere reference) – at least the live version is. What’s your favorite love song

A funny/random side note – at around 40 seconds in, he sings, “far away from the city”. Every time I hear him say “city”, it sounds like he’s saying “shitty”; kinda like the owner of City Wok (Shitty Wok) from South Park (the Chinese dude). I get a good chuckle every time I listen to it.

* If you’re interested, here are the other Know Good Classics… here.

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