Friday, June 30, 2006

dear summer,

I got off work early today, flew down the Bronx River Parkway without having to worry about the traffic I usually encounter, got home, sat down, and listened to this mixtape.

Looking on paper, it seems like DJ Eleven went overboard picking "summer-y" songs, especially since the word summer pops up like 100 times, but listen to it and it's like the dude just took July and bottled it. It's so good, check it out.

DJ Eleven

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

copycat copycat

When I saw MC Abstract Douchipster had posted up all that french hip hop, I figured I'd throw in my two cents on music in foreign languages. I couldn't help it, I have to overcompensate here for only having ever heard one french MC (diam's) while he's well versed in the subject. Anyways,

"Tu Gornisht" - King Django
Back when Matisyahu was still skipping Hebrew School to smoke Ls in White Plains, King Django was already rocking on some Jew Reggae. I saw Django at abc no rio a few years back and it's still one of the best shows I've ever been to. Although not all of his music is markedly Jewish or Reggae, it is all awesome. This particular song is a cover of the Specials song, "Do Nothing." The only difference is it's in yiddish.

"Don" - Miranda!
My brother loves to watch vidéos on Mtv Español, apparently, and one night he called me in to watch this crazy ass video. Aside from that video being awesome, I love this song. The keyboard is perfectly nintendo and the vocals are so absurdly falsetto and catchy that I can't help but sing along. Even when I don't know what they're saying.

"Eu Suo Favela" - Seu Jorge
Yes. This is Knockout Ned from City of God. Yes. He did play a bunch of David Bowie songs in the Life Aquatic and sing them in Portugese. This is a political song about slum violence that will make you want to dance.


I recently got introduced to the awesomeness that is French hip hop. Now, while I can't understand what they are saying, the ability of the French language to sound good when put to a beat is undeniable. The language was made for rapping. The French scene is the second biggest in the world after the US hip hop scene. Few outside of French speaking countries realize how big French hip hop really is.

Noble Art - IAM featuring Method Man and Redman

IAM is one of the biggest groups in the history of French hip hop. This song was realesed in 2004, but IAM has been around in one form or another since 1989. This song even makes Redman listenable.

La Haine - DJ Cut Killer and Supreme NTM

DJ Cut Killer is a great French DJ and here is helped by a band that in the world of French hip hop can only be compared to controversial US groups such as N.W.A. Here, Cut Killer uses very recognizable American samples (including Biggie, and yes that is a Wu-Tang sample at the very end of the song) along with Supreme NTM's harsh use of the French language to great effect.

Qui sème le vent récolte le tempo - MC Solaar

No post about French hip hop would be complete without the most popular of them all. MC Solaar is the definitive French hip hop artist. He even recieved a small amount of success in the US. This song is the title song from his 1990 platinum album. The title means "He who sows the wind reaps the rhythm". His voice is smooth as hell, and his production is stellar.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

An American Tale 2: Lupe Goes West

In spite of, or maybe because of, an uncanny resemblance to the kid that played the famous Jett Jackson on the Disney Channel,

Lupe Fiasco has been popping up in my headphones more and more often lately. In honor of the fact that his debut album, Food & Liquor, was supposed to drop today, we're going to be shining a spotlight on Mr. Fiasco.

Apparently, Lupe was raised muslim and continues to practice the faith. In an expression of that faith (maybe?), Fiasco recorded a remix of Kanye's "Jesus Walks" entitled "Muhammad Walks". The chorus does not contain backup singers piping out, "Muha-Mmad-Walks". Take that whichever way you'd like

"Muhammad Walks" by Lupe Fiasco

So the first time I heard this song, I thought it was great, but upon a subsequent listening, I actually paid attention and realized it's about skateboarding. Just that is cool enough for me, it's not too often that we get to hear a good hip hop song about sidewalk surfing. It's even rare to hear a bad one. Besides, who can knock the plotline of finding your one true love out doing kickflips by some picnic tables. All of my sarcasm aside, I really like this song.

"Kick, Push" by Lupe Fiasco

Fort Minor (fuck fort minor) invited Fiasco to join them on this track with one of Cigarbox's perennial favorites, Ghost... Face... Killaaaaaah

"Spraypaint & Inkpens" featuring Ghostface Killah & Lupe Fiasco by Fort Minor

The word on the street, as it were, is that Kanye borrowed some inspiration from a Lupe song entitled "Conflict Diamonds". Apparently West's reward for the work on "Diamonds are Forever" was the guest spot on "Touch the Sky", which really gave Fiasco his first big showcase. Although the new release date for his album hasn't been announced, it is being produced by Jay-Z. I'm guessing Mr. West is going to help. Not Kanye, Adam.

Monday, June 26, 2006

errebody get raandom

So I saw a commercial for this show on FuseTV that supposedly plays indie videos and it had a quick snippet of Lady Sov's "Random" video. So I went online to do some research about the show or whatever and I stumbled across this website:

The whole premise of the website is that people donate money to this guy, Zach Slow, and he uses the money to take Lady Sovereign out for a night, assuming she agrees. Apparently he raised his goal of $10,000 and had his night out with SOV. Part of his whole plea was that he wasn't trying to get in her pants, just trying to have a fun night out. I won't lie, I really wish I'd thought of this first, minus the not getting in the pants part. Watch the videos on his site, the first one is especially hilarious.

Mogwai Fear Satan

I think this might be my favorite instrumental rock and roll song of all time. Clocking in between sixteen and seventeen minutes and they don't waste a damn second.

"Mogwai fear Satan" by Mogwai

punk rock love

Personally, my favorite love songs are punk rock love songs. You know the girl in the story is probably not a knockout, but she probably wears cute pink converse and has red hair and is much closer to anyone you'll meet than any of the girls in a backstreet boys song. There's a lot of earnesty to it too, punk rock has always had a tough guy image, deserved or not, and to hear these bands belt out lyrics about love and loss seems more earnest than some guy with a flowing white shirt. So here's a couple of my favorite punk rock love songs.

"Pretty Mess" by Crimpshrine
This song captures a lot of different facets of young love really well. "In love with no place to go,", "my friends would never understand,", it's all there. One of my favorite parts of the song is that he calls this girl a "pretty mess", that idea that to the average passerby this girl might seem like a trainwreck, but you think she's beautiful. This is the first of two songs on my short little list sung by Jeff Ott, although this first one was written by Crimpshrine's drummer Aaron Cometbus. Goddamn incestous East Bay Scene.

"Kiss The Bottle" by Jawbreaker

Blake Schwarzenbach's mean rasp is the perfect vehicle for this song about love turned to alcoholism. When Schwarzenbach croons, "I know I painted you a prettier picture, baby," you can't help but feel sorry for this guy. It's like he's tried his best, but things just turned out differently than he planned. Come on, who can't relate to that?

"The End of The Summer" by Fifteen
It's not like the inevitable end of the summer fling is a unique theme in music. I mean, this song is
basically the punk rock version of "Summer Lovin'" from Grease. Even though I've never seen Grease (seriously, just once, in a play my cousin was in when I was 4). That's the beauty of art though, you don't neccesarily need a whole new idea, because everyone has the ability to interpret things differently. Fifteen's Jeff Ott isn't neccessarily mourning the end of the summer here, he's looking towards the future and the possibility that they can have another summer just as great as the one that's passed. Also, the cowbell here is so crucial.

"Hope" by the Descendents

So back in my heck of young times, one of the first albums I ever bought for myself was Sublime's 40 oz. to Freedom. I still credit this album with really getting me into music, since Sublime put so many cover songs on that album. Since I loved the album so much, I would go out and buy the albums by the original artists. That's how I first laid my hands on Milo Goes to College by the Descendents in 7th grade. I fell in love with that album as a whole, but the one Sublime covered stuck out in particular. Hope is a love song in that quintessential punk rock vein of "i hate your boyfriend". It's been done a million times, but rarely this well. If you can find it, there's a live version of this song from the album Liveage. Milo croons a little more live than he does on the album and it works really well on this song.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

5 Great Guest Appearances

So like with the last list I posted, this songs are in no order of importance and I'm not even going to say that these are the best guest appearances ever, although they could be up there. These are just 5 great moments in recent musical history where a meeting of the minds occurred.

1. Nas Escobar joins the ranks of the Wu-Gambinos

It's generally agreed that Nas is at his best on Illmatic. Some may disagree, trust me friends, those folks have incorrect opinions. So we have Nas jumping in the ring on a personal favorite, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. Honestly it's sort of ridiculous to think it wouldn't be awesome. Raekwon, Tony Starks, and freaking Nas. It's just great. The mostly incoherent speaking whispered over the track is so damn tension building.

"Verbal Intercourse" feat. Nas and Ghostface by Raekwon the Chef

2. some eerie foreshadowing of things to come

Before there was the Postal Service, there was Dntel and there was Death Cab. Now I'm not going to claim to like Death Cab for Cutie, because I don't, but when frontman Ben Gibbard decided to lend his voice to a track on Jimmy Tamborello's Dntel album, the result was aaaawesome. As much as I enjoy the Postal Service, this pre-postal service collaboration between the two men ranks far higher in my own personal favorites.

"(this is) The Dream of Evan and Chan" by Dntel

3. The title really says it all for me.

Brooklyn's finest indeed. Even if there weren't two rap giants on this track, that piano is so goddamn head-bop inducing. It's so refreshing to hear Biggie duet with someone while he's actually living.

"Brooklyn's Finest" feat. Biggie Smalls by Jay Z

4. It's kind of like Tiny Toon Adventures

I've always liked Rilo Kiley. So when I read that Jenny Lewis was covering the Traveling Wilburys' "Handle with Care" on her solo album, I thought that could be cool. I've always enjoyed the Traveling Wilburys, since I'm not a fool. I especially enjoy a good guest appearance, so when I heard that Conor Oberst-and some less important friends-were going to be joining Ms. Lewis on the track, I thought that'd be pretty cool. It's like their own little junior wilburys. And although I will sarcastically agree and sincerely disagree with folks who tout Oberst as the next Bob Dylan, it's fun to hear him foam out the dylan / tom petty vocals.

"Handle with Care" covered by Jenny Lewis with Conor Oberst, that guy in the postal service, and someone else.

5. Veronica Spector is so money and she doesn't even know it.

Apparently Madonna once said that, "Ronnie Spector sounds: sexy, hungry, totally trashy." So if you couldn't guess, I have one more reason to think Madonna sucks. She's lucky there'll always be "Like a Prayer." So sexy and hungry would both be completely accurate to describe Spector's vocals, but totally trashy is waaay outta line. I sort of have a tendency to always talk about how this is the greatest recorded pop song of all time, but just listen to "be my baby". Spector's voice is anything but trashy. Her voice drips longing and desire, but it's too pure to be trashy. Trashy doesn't do it justice. Anyways my point here is that she has one of the most stirring voices in the world of pop music and only a performer of her caliber could make a star out of one Edward Money.

Think about it this way, isn't it exciting that the angel from the Ronettes got to grace the charts one more time? Besides that, you show me a man who doesn't sing along to this song when he's in his car, and I'll show you either a liar or a person who doesn't happen to be in the car when "Take Me Home Tonight" comes on. That's right, the final song in this installment of Cigar-Box guitars is

"Take me Home Tonight" featuring Ronnie Spector by Eddie Money.

eddie freaking money.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Frowny Face Killah??

So I know it's not the exact same thing, but doesn't that opening waily descending siren sound at the beginning of this Smiths sound like the sound from the Ghostface song?

"How Soon is Now" by the Smiths

"Run" featuring Jadakiss by IRONMAN

the Ergs!

The plan was to go to CBGB to see Jedi Mind Tricks. The show was sold out before we even got as Penn Station. So rather than take a train back to Jersey, my traveling mates and I decided that we might as well just get a couple bottles of brandy and go find something to do. A good amount of brandy, 4 citations for public drinking, 6 40s, and plenty of stolen cans of Modelo later, I decided that at 4 am it was a great idea to take the subway to Coney Island and hang out until my friend Rudi's birthday party the next night. It turned out to not be the most logical plan, but once I finally made it to Rudi's she was playing this band I hadn't heard before, the aforementioned Ergs! and I found out that they were coming to play in her living room later that night. I ended up having to leave to catch a train before they played their set, but I really enjoyed their recorded stuff and I've been listening to it ever since. They have a new album out, but to be honest I haven't listened to it much. Out of everything I've sampled, I enjoy their out of Print Ben Kweller EP the most.

"Ashley Sugarnotch" by the Ergs!
I heard this song and remembered that pop punk doesn't neccessarily have to be shitty.

"Pool Pass" by the Ergs!
A lotta their songs show a really good sense of humor. This one, along with "Ben Kweller" and "Obligatory Song about Killing One's Boyfriend" are among my favourites out of their funny moments.

"Ben Kweller" by the Ergs!

Just listen. This is funny and great.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

L-B-See ya

So I caught a video the other day for the titular single from Tha Dogg Pound's upcoming album "Cali is Active". I've never been the biggest fan of West Coast Hip Hop, but it's nice to be reminded they exist, especially in the midst of this Big Up New York phase. The video has a ton of cameous from various luminaries of the left coast, including Dj Quik, B Real, Xzibit, and my favorite rapper to ever appear on a home recorded Sublime album, 2 $hort. Like I said, this funky west coast shit has just never really been my style, but this track is done well.

"Cali Is Active" by Tha Dogg Pound

and since I brought it up...

"Q-Ball" by Sublime with Q Ball and 2 $hort

To move things back to my side of the country for a moment, I caught a little bit of the Busta Rhymes / Clinton Sparks mixtape "New Crack City" today and it sounds good as hell. Maybe I'm a little biased towards Busta, but it seems like he can do no wrong these days. Check out Soul-Sides
for a more indepth review and a couple tracks.

Monday, June 19, 2006


I downloaded the bootleg of the Bright Eyes set at Bonnaroo and lo and behold, we have a new song called "Soul Singer in the Session Band". It's allright, doesn't really seem like anything special yet. There's a violin solo that sounds terrible, which maybe we could chalk up to it being live, and Oberst seems to be doing some sort of faux Irish Brogue, which sounds ridiculous. Maybe they'll tweak it a lot more before it gets put on an album, and then it'll be great. Probably. Sorry, I'm going into obsessive bright eyes fan little girl mode. Gotta snap out.

Soul Singer in the Session Band (Live at Bonnaroo) by Bright Eyes

Junior Boys "In The Morning"

In The Morning - Junior Boys

I am seriously excited for this new Junior Boys album (titled So This is Goodbye, out in August), even more so after I finally tracked down their new single "In The Morning". This song might be better than anything on their stellar first album (Last Exit), and that is saying alot. That album was most of the time subtle in it's whispery, sexual little way. This song bubbles along with a ridiculously danceable, almost industrial beat. Check the build up and release at the 3 minute mark with that synth line that gives my ears a boner. I gotta hear that synth line on a dance floor before the end of the year.

Between this album and Thom Yorke's, my most anticipated albums of the summer list is now at 2.

I bomb atomically

Inspectah Deck's verse on "Triumph" blew my motherfucking mind when I heard it for the first time. Since then I've always maintained that he's the most underrated MC in the Clan. This new track doesn't really live up to my lyrical expectations of the Rebel INS, but there's some solid production on it.

What They Want by Inspectah Deck

Speaking of all things Wu, Method Man's got a new album that should be coming out soon, entitled 4:21. I think I read July 18th? I've always thought he was the most overrated MC in the clan, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy him. This track with Lauryn Hill is a bit of a changeup from what I'd usually expect from the man.

Say by Method Man feat. Lauryn Hill

NOTE:we have some technical difficulties going on right now. the link for the Meth download will be fixed shortly.

EDIT: I don't know what the deal is, but this song just isn't working for me. If you wanna check it out, go to Meth's site and it just starts playing.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Gettin' LIF ted... get it?

I was at a show once with Mr. MC Abstract Douchipster and things were going kind of slowly, so we left. Later we found out that Mr. Lif had shown up unannounced. I've been kicking myself over it ever since. Lif just did a little work helping out Gift of Gab and the result is hot fire. Seriously. hot fire. Thankyou hiphopdx for opening up my ears to this song.

"Lay it Down" by Gift of Gab with Mr. Lif


So originally I found out about Vocalese through Soul Sides, when I caught a post featuring King Pleasure's "Moody's Mood for Love". Vocalese is a style of jazz singing where lyrics are created to go along with instrument soloing, whether the vocals are improvised or otherwise. Eddie Jefferson's been cited as the first luminary of the style and pioneered it along with King Pleasure.

"Moody's Mood for Love" by King Pleasure
Like I said, this song was my first exposure. Pleasure and the unnamed female vocalist both twist their voices in such sweet fashion. The instrumentation backing their vocals is fairly minimal, so your ear can mostly tune into the unique sounds of their voice. The "moody" named in the title is actually James Moody, who recorded "I'm in the Mood for Love" on the sax.

"Parker's Mood" by King Pleasure
Pleasure gives Charlie Parker the same treatment he gave Moody, to great results.

"Pyschedelic Sally" by Eddie Jefferson
After being out of the studio for quite a while, Jefferson returned with the album body and soul, which included a couple of tracks done to try and revamp Jefferson's style to fit the new Mod craze of the late 60s. This is one of those tracks. While it's a departure from his more established style, I still think this song is great.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Thom is Neat

So I might be a bit of a Radiohead fanboy, but I don't care. Thom Yorke's solo album (titled The Eraser) is coming out on July 11, and I can't remember the last time I was so excited for an album to drop. I know the whole album has leaked, but I won't let myself hear it until is officially comes out. I have heard one song from it though.

Black Swan - Thom Yorke
Surprise surprise, I love this song. My boy Nigel Godrich produced the album, and he does lots of good stuff on this song. July 11 isn't soon enough


So sometimes, peer pressure gets the best of you, and you do some drugs. Now I know I don't advocate drugs, nor have I ever tried any of any sort. Anyone that tells you otherwise about me is a liar and is obviously just trying to spread lies about the Green Hornet. Aaaaand I've reached the level of pretension it takes to refer to myself with my blog name. Anyways, when you do certain drugs, there are just certain songs that really fit the mood.

Bombs over Baghdad by Outkast.
If there was a chemical process that transformed cocaine into an electrical signal, instead of a rock, you could hook it up to a pair of speakers, and this song would come blaring out. It's just so goddamn fast and funky and confusing.

America's Most Blunted by MadVillian
Over the past year or so I've just really enjoyed this one. You can't beat Doom and Lord Quas for smokey good times.

Great Gig in the Sky by Pink Floyd
Just trust me.

Marquee Moon by Television
So it's not the normal blips and beeps techno that you'd associate with e-tards and ravers, but it's got so many beautiful guitar melodies that it's just so easy to get lost in them and not even notice that the song is around ten minutes long.

I'm on my New York Shit

So it seems that that Busta Rhymes' "New York Shit" has got New York Rappers clamoring to rep their city, lest they be accused of just not keeping it real. One of the results of the trend is the DJ Green Lantern and DJ Kay Slay collabo mixtape, On My New York Shit. There's a huge roster of talent here, with the movement headed by Busta Rhymes, with back up firepower coming from Papoose, Nas, Hi-Tek, Jim Jones, Remy Ma, Lloyd Banks, Timbaland, Styles P., Fat Joe, Wyclef Jean, Snyplife, Swizz Beats, Tru Life, Akon, Prinz and Grafh of Blackhand Ent., Red Café, J.R. Writer, Jae Millz, Cory Gunz, Hell Rell, Uncle Murda, Stack Bundles, Maino, Mike Beck, Tony Sunshine, Scram Jones, Joell Ortiz, Flawless, plus elder statesmen Ghostface, Raekwon, Kool G. Rap, Big Daddy Kane, and Lord Tariq. So first of all, there's a lot of NY talent that's noticeably absent. But you can't get everybody on one tape and there is a lot represented here. I was especially pysched to see that Dj Hi-Tek produced a track for Busta and Nas, and it turned out to be one of my favorites, along with Uncle Murda's "Murdera!" which has a ridiculous reggae beat and a great chorus. "Uptown" from Jae Millz, and Five Deadly Venoms from the old guard of Starks, Rae, and company also turned out to be solid tracks. It's a fun tape to listen to and it's nice to see such fervent New York pride, genuine as it may or may not be, but I do have some mixed feelings about certain parts. Two songs jack beats from the "Liquid Swords" album and on one hand you could look at that like, "Oh hey they're using beats from New York Classics, just like they opened the tape with the New York State of Mind beat." Jim Jones freestyles over Liquid Swords though and even though I do kind of enjoy it, is Jim Jones really cool enough to be spitting over that beat? I'm pretty sure the answers no. Either way, check it out. There's some cool sound effects, some enjoyable Frank Sinatra, and Busta's speeches are awesome.

You can
see the tracklisting here,

and you can stream
the whole mixtape at

In Related News, I heard Joe Budden's answer to the whole New York Shit craze yesterday.

Joe Budden - On My New Jerz Shit.

and, a little something from the man who would be King of New York if it weren't for a lot of ignorance in the world:

Talib Kweli and Jean Grae - New York Shit Freestyle

Friday, June 16, 2006

I really wish I was ?uestlove

Not only does he possess some of the coolest hair in Hip Hop, not only is he the percussionist for one of my favorite groups, not only has he had the distinction of performing with dave chappelle and jon mayer, but he has the coolest record library I've ever seen.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

This Video is Awesome.

"I'm Still Your Fag" - Broken Social Scene

Today's Blog, in which Paul Simon gets out of the tub to make some cool music

So Paul Simon dropped an album in early May of this year, and I really didn't hear a goddamn thing about it. In all fairness, I tend to be oblivious to things sometimes, so for all I know the album cover could've been plastered on every bus in Newark and every blog on the internet. But anyways, I didn't hear about it until I was reading The New Yorker in a shrink's waiting room and I saw a review for the forthcoming (when the magazine went to press, at least) Paul Simon album produced by Brian Eno. Wait, what? Yeah. Brian Eno. The Album's called Surprise and I've really been having a blast listening to it. Eno did a good job of producing an album that sounds different from anything Simon's done before without making it sound like an aging musician trying to revamp/revitalize their sound (see Celine Dion, "and that's the way it is" not that I've ever listened to Celine Dion.). Aside from my initial shock, it's not terribly Surprise-ing to see Brian Eno on the album. Paul Simon is the man who went from collaborating with Art Garfunkle to Lady Blacksmith Mambazo. In addition to the beautifully layered sonic landscape that Eno lays out, the album is great lyrically. Simon touches on our current state political turmoil, growing old, and being a father, to name a few themes.

Paul Simon - Sure Doesn't Feel Like Love

Paul Simon - Once Upon A Time There Was An Ocean

All in all, Paul Simon's been cool since before I was born and he's still cool.

MC Abstract Douchipster's 10 Songs

I figured for my first post I would put up 10 songs for one reason or another. Mostly these are just the songs I am into right now. Some have sentimental reasons, some are just songs I decided I wanted others to hear.
Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime - Beck

A song that means alot to me for certain reasons, but you might know it from the "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" soundtrack. Originally performed by a band called The Korgis, it's performed here by a scientologist named Beck Hansen. Try not to be moved by the vocal performance from Beck as he longs for lovin. Also, check the Jon Brion production (yes, that guy from the Kanye album) as he tries to do his best Nigel Godrich impersonation.

Peacocks - The Mountain Goats

I had alot of trouble picking just one song from this group as I have grown an obsession with John Darnielle's muppet-like voice. But the strength of his songs and lyrics make the voice endearing. Darnielle may not be a virtuoso on the guitar, but few people today are writing songs as personal and as craftful as he does on a regular basis.

I Would Hurt a Fly - Built to Spill

Built to Spill is one of the greatest bands of the 90s no doubt. Each song of thiers has more innovation, emotion, and kick ass sections than most bands out today have in thier entire catalogue. Also, singer/songwriter/guitarist Doug Martsch, is as close to an actual God as anyone in rock has ever been.

Get Set - Kano ft. Low Deep, Ghetto, Big Seac, and Demon

Time to change it up with one of the best MCs out of the truly blossoming UK hip-hop/grime scene. This song was featured on the compilation "Run the Road vol. 2" which was the sequel to one of the most important (and great) compilations to be released in the last 10 years. I originally heard this song from a guy named Mikey, and he liked it. I do too. The beat is sick, and the rhymes are too. This is the new age grime, indeed.

Little Derek - Sway

Sway is truly about to explode. He has more mainstream upside than any MC in England, he's got better rhymes than anyone out today, and he is a Newcastle United fan. All of this adds up to my favorite new artist and your future favorite new artist. I met him, too.

My Sentimental Melody - Magnetic Fields

Yes, the Magnetic Fields sing mostly love songs. Yes, the songs are written by Stephin Merritt, who is a homosexual. Yes, the love songs are mostly sung by a man about men. This should not stop anyone, straight or gay, from listening to this brilliant man. The melodies are perfect, the production is fantastic, and the lyrics are universal enough to appeal to anyone with a heart. HOLY SHIT, this guy can write the perfect love song.

Fog - Radiohead

Baby alligators, nuff said. I figured for my first post I had to put something by the greatest band in the world. This is probably my favorite Radiohead B-side because while it's too WIERD a song even for Radiohead to put on an album, it's also too GREAT a song to not love it. Radiohead gave experimentation a heart.

Death to Everyone - Bonnie 'Prince' Billy

Anyone who knows me could have guessed that there would be something by this guy here. This song is an acceptance of the most basic fact of life, that "it's gonna come". The production on this song (and on this whole album) makes you feel like you are sitting in a dark room with Bonnie (real name Will Oldham) as he sings this dark song to you, adding a creepy effect to an album with creepiness to spare. If you plan on listening to this guy alone at night, it is best to not be near any razors or ropes long enough to make a noose.

Bellona - Junior Boys

In a perfect world, this song would have OWNED dance floors when it came out. I can't really explain why I included this song here on my first post. I guess I just always thought these Canadians deserved more acclaim. Heart-felt vocals along with a glitchy dance beat all put into a pop song that owes as much to Daft Punk as it does to Timbaland.

R.A.G.U. - Ghostface Killah ft. Raekwon

Between me and the Green Hornet, this blog is definitely gonna have a strong predilection for the Wu-Tang clan and Wu associated projects. My favorite member of Wu recently put out arguably his best album and this is one of my favorite songs from it. This song could have fit in perfectly on Raekwon's album "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx". Raekwon's storytelling is as good as it has ever been, and no two MCs work together better than these two men. Fishscale is easily one of the best albums of 2006 and this song is a classic example of the genius of the Wu.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Raekwon the God

Couple months ago, I saw the Gza the Genius at BB Kings and he tore shit up. Raekwon was out on stage lending his voice for most of the set and hyping up Cuban Links 2: Heron Only. The whole idea of making a followup to Cuban Links seems somewhat ambitious (see Liquid Swords part 2), it's without a doubt one of the best efforts in the entire Wu canon. So maybe that's why Rae's been teaming up with another elder statesmen of Rap who's been preparing his own comeback??

Raekwon the Chef feat. Busta Rhymes - State of Grace Remix

The track's a remix of a supposed Cuban Links 2 track and it's one of many recent remix and mixtape collaborations between Busta and Rae. It'd be cool as hell if these two got to working together all the time. Especially after hearing Raekwon's guest appearance on Busta's new album,

Busta Rhymes feat. Raekwon the Chef - Goldmine

There's definitely a strong Wu sound on the track, which in my mind is never a bad thing. So with Cuban Links 2 supposedly dropping soon, the Big Bang just coming out, and Fishscale dominating, looks like New York might snatch hip hop back. If you have a chance, check out some of the other Busta/Raekwon collabos, (what's beef, coke dealings) and on the Wu side of things, DEFINITELY check out this new Masta Killa track featuring Raekwon and Tony Starks.

Masta Killa feat. Raekwon and Tony Starks - It Is What It Is

Monday, June 12, 2006

12 Rock and Roll Songs to make you shake that ass.

This started out as a top ten list, but I ended up with twelve songs, and I can't really say that it's an all inclusive list, since even I'm not pretentious enough to think I've heard enough music to cover every base possible. Plus I'll probably think of ten better songs the next time I read over this. I will say, however, that if you put on any one of the following twelve songs, you'd have even the stiffest of the living dead moving their hips like a snake.

1. Almost Crimes by Broken Social Scene -

even the video is all about ass shaking. I don't mind admitting that during my sophomore year of college, I would lock my door, put on this song, and dance like a madman. My life won't be complete until I hear this song while I'm actually out on the town, on the floor.

2. Crocodile Rock by Elton John -
Now say what you will about Sir Elton John, say what you will about this song, I don't wanna hear it. This song posesses one of the best kinds of danceability. The kind where you move to the groove whilst singing along in an absurd falsetto.

3. Damaged Goods by Gang of Four -
The dueling guitar and bass come at you so strong right from the get go. It's like a sonic invitation to get down. These guys may have played punk rock, but there is something undeniably funk about Andy Gill's guitar.

4. Me and Guiliani down by the Schoolyard (A True Story) by !!! -
Most level headed folk will agree that the only thing better than a protest song is a protest song that you can shake your ass to. Well how about a protest song, that you can shake your ass to, that's about being denied the right to shake one's ass??? Brilliant! Even outside the world of body movin', this song is a classic. The song actually builds in different movements, taking you to each and every corner of the dancefloor. That's right. it's so good it gets a travel metaphor.

5. Should I Stay or Should I Go? by The Clash -
The moment after Strummer utters that titular phrase, "Should I stay or should I go, now?" the ensuing dance explosion is among the most fun and frenetic dance breaks you're going to hear on Classic Rock Radio, Adult Contemporary Radio, Alternative Rock Radio, AND College Rock Radio.

6. Give It Up by LCD Soundsystem -
If I wanted to, I could've just put "LCD Soundsystem - Every song they ever thought of recording" and had that be the whole list, but I figured that might be a little too quick of a read, so I picked this song. It's easily one of the more rocking LCD songs, and the frantic drums tell you exactly how to move that butt. Soon you'll get to swingin those tight little fists along with that fuzzed out bassline, and screaming along, even though you don't know the words, and everything will be just fine.

7. Last Caress by the Misfits -
The combination of chugging guitars and Danzig's sultry croon basically begs teenagers, "Gel your hair down in a silly manner. Now do the twist," and it's really near impossible to tell them no. On "Last Caress", Danzig's voice hits a point where he goes from sounding like a silly Elvis knockoff to a silly Elvis knockoff with some serious vocal chops. Combine that with metronome instrumentals and you're ready to dance. Throw this on at a party, I guarantee all your punk friends will dance and sing like it was 1962 on speed.

8. Hooray for Humans by Q and Not U -
Here's another one that it's real hard to look good dancing to. The piercing, dueling guitars tend to inspire limb movements that would definitely be considered outside the realm of cool dance moves, but the rhythm section is just to strong to be ignored. With drums and bass that register just outside of 9.1 on the Richter, this song will make you move.

9. This Charming Man by The Smiths -
This is a cool one because with most of the songs on this list, it's really the rhythm section that puts that movement in your pants. This tune really is all about that pretty, jangly, guitar. The way the melody moves so quickly and so all over the place, the fingers just start snapping on their own and then it's on. Time to dance like Jon Cryer in Pretty in Pink.

10. Timorous Me by Ted Leo & The Pharmacists -
I saw Ted Leo in 2003 at a lookout! records showcase at CBGBs. For hours, my associate and I stood in the motionless hipster crowd, waiting through shitty band after shitty band. Finally at some point after midnight, Mr. Ted Leo and his wiley band of Pharmacists took the stage and started to rock for us. The crowd had been standing in place for quite a while though, so it really looked like Ted's set was going to stay danceless for a while. Until the bass and drums kicked in on this song. Then came the dancing and Oh! did we dance.

11. Not Witherspoon, but Silverstone by Thunderbirds are now! -
It starts off with great staccato keyboards to get you moving right from the start. Then the drums kick in and take over, plus they throw in some wildly incomprehensible lyrics to make it the perfect package for a dance party sing along.

12. Time of The Season by The Zombies
The hook of this song is just so damn infectious. With those couple bass notes, then the "ch", "ahhh", it's just impossible to put this on and sit still. This is another one where the likelihood of you looking cool while you dance to it is slim to none. It's just too damn easy to sing along and move to.

Welcome to Cigar Box Guitars.

The main purpose here's to share whatever music happens to be drifting through my head at any given moment. I've chosen the name from an amalgamation of two things I believe to be very dear to the musical process



So relax, check the site out, let me know what you think, and try not to take anything too seriously.

I stole pictures today from: