working towards an intellectual understanding of booty chatter.

martes, julio 31, 2007

animal keyboard: duck mode

ANIMAL KEYBOARD, born Martin Wiklund, is my jam.

The moment I heard "Animals Run Free" I was immediately in love. My eyes moved a little to the left on his myspace to notice that he's, of course, from Sweden. This did not surprise me considering most of the music I love comes from Sweden.

From what I can tell, Wiklund's keyboard has eight different animal modes-- cat, dog, cow, sheep, frog, bee, duck (quack), and bird. Duck mode is heavily utilized in "Animals Run Free". Any dance song could be better with quacks in my opinion. I especially love the breakdown at approximately 2:41. Yes, this may be too cute for your ears. You've been warned.

d/l: ANIMAL KEYBOARD- Animals Run Free (YSI)
d/l: ANIMAL KEYBOARD- On the Run from Nora (YSI)
(instrumental keyboard dance hits)
- space it -

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viernes, julio 20, 2007

jay electronica: act one, eternal sunshine.

JAY ELECTRONICA came to me coincidentally while I was doing a bit of research for my last post about the GotdioN remix of Erykah Badu. Ms. Badu has this to say about him:

"Jay Electronica, the person...hmm, I wouldn't even call him a person, cause he's a weird lookin' cat. His ears are kind of pointy, he has a square head. He looks kind of like he's an alien from somewhere, really. But in a very beautiful way. Like uh, like some kind of mythical creature who would have a bow & arrow on his back, with wings under that bow & arrow."

Long story short, Jay Electronica is the first artist to be signed to Erykah Badu's record label Control FreaQ. In fact, the label was created solely after Badu first heard his music. She says so on "Act 1: eternal sunshine (the pledge)", which features an intro by her and producer Just Blaze. The song itself includes Jon Brion's compositions from the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind overlapping with rhymes, interviews, and soundclips from films (including the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory). Apparently Act 1 is the first of three, the final of which will be his full-length debut album.

It would surprise some to learn that Jay is from New Orleans. I have yet to understand this element of surprise. There are plenty of intelligent, intriguing rappers in the south. They're just not getting airplay, but in hip-hop's current state even the intelligent, intriguing artists from the east and west coasts aren't getting much airplay. Sex, club jams, and novelty tracks sell these days like hotcakes. Do hotcakes actually sell fast? Instead, let's just say that they sell like Nintendo Wiis.

Jay shows a lot of promise in gaining the south respect that the holier-than-thou "real" hip-hop artists deny it. He's very concerned about his artistic integrity, having turned down a contract with Universal to work with Badu at Control FreaQ. He's innovative. He's weird. He's a lover of Willy Wonka. He's a beautiful alien. That's really all that matters.

d/l: JAY ELECTRONICA- Act One (snippet) (YSI)
d/l: JAY ELECTRONICA- Act One: Eternal Sunshine (the pledge) (YSI)
d/l: JAY ELECTRONICA- Bitches and Drugs (produced by J. Dilla) (YSI)
(amazing hip-hop)
- space it -

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jueves, julio 19, 2007

gotdion: erykah badu remix.

GOTDION wowed me on this one.

I've been in a real music drought now that I've started my job, and I know it's a blogger faux-pas to post about a single artist/producer after only a short period of time...but I honestly don't give a fuck. I've been pumping this jam everywhere I go-- from my desk to my car, and I am proud to say that it is significantly better than his "Lip Gloss" remix.

Erykah Badu's "Bag Lady"* may be one of my favorite songs of all time, and it certainly is my favorite R&B video of all time (link). The simple multi-colored costuming, choreography, and sheer attitude of this video collectively blow me away for some reason. There's this great sincerity in both the song and the video** that only Ms. Badu possesses. To put it simply, Erykah Badu is kind of crazy. And I love her for it. She's got Badu-tude, and I can only dream of gaining this quality.

While I generally have considered most of GotdioN's best work to be remixes that are better than the original, "Bag Lady" doesn't fall into that category. It's not better than the original, it's a complete reinvention of the original. The heavy drums and drawling synth add an element of urgency to Badu's message to "pack light", contrasting with the smooth laziness of the originals. It would seem that an electro remix of Erykah would strip the song of its integrity, but instead it adds a new element of truth-- a harsh truth. It may not be the way Badu intended to deliver her message, but it totally works...and rocks while doing so.

* Both the radio mix and the album version. They're incredible.

** Thanks to wikipedia, I learned that this is largely because the entire video was shot on Mini DV digital video.

d/l: ERYKAH BADU- Bag Lady (GotdioN remix) (YSI)
(electro reinvention of R&B goddess)
- space it / buy it - site it - space it - hype it - wik it -

Speaking of remixes, there were some particularly good ones on the most recent Remix Sunday on Palms Out Sounds, particularly a great Valiant remix of The Roots.

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martes, julio 17, 2007

johnboy: nicole scherzinger remix.

JOHNBOY has been on my radar for a while now, though I admittedly hadn't been impressed by anything he put out until now.

The original version of Nicole Scherzinger's "Whatever You Like" f/ T.I., produced by Polow Da Don, is really grating*. Kelis was able to ride over a similar Polow beat on her song "Blindfold Me", but Nicole does not possess the edginess, swagger, or attitude to work a song like this. In her case, the beat just emphasizes how ridiculously bad her lyrics are.

Given that The Pussycat Dolls album was practically Nicole's solo album given the sheer lack of lead-vocals from other members, I was surprised at how much I hated Nicole's solo material so far. Then, as if scolding me for jumping to conclusions...Johnboy hopped in with his remix. It wasn't the lyrics or flow of "Whatever You Like" that I hated, it was the beat. This remix takes those same stupid lyrics and makes them bearable. They're still stupid, but this time they're catchy.

The chorus of "I do whatever you like" becomes appropriately robotic. Nicole is programmed to fit into our mold of pop diva. She's been waiting for this moment since before her days in Eden's Crush, and now that she's here...she's going to do whatever you like. Not what she wants to do. Whatever you like.

At first I misheard Nicole's chorus as "I do what I think you like". In that case, I didn't like what she thought I'd like until Johnboy remixed it. Reboot Nicole, and please try again.

d/l: NICOLE SCHERZINGER f/ T.I.- Whatever You Like (Johnboy remix) (YSI)
(remix of new pop tune)
- space it / space it - wik it - hype it -

Admittedly the Polow Da Don original grew on me while writing this post.

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sábado, julio 07, 2007

gotdion: lip gloss remix.

GOTDION is back again with a remix of Lil Mama's "Lip Gloss", presumably off of his upcoming mixtape WTFD Vol. 2.

I'll make it known that this isn't my favorite remix by him, but that's probably because I'm a bit too obsessed with Leif's "Glossy Pop" (download at Chazology), Mashed Potatoes blend with The Knife, and a few others that are floating around. Beyond that, I'm just getting a little tired of "Lip Gloss". Don't get me wrong. It's great...but well, I just want to hear Lil Mama on a song that's a "lil" new. Sure, a few other songs leaked...including the rumored second single "Make It Hot", but if Lil Mama wants to be known as more than just "The 'Lip Gloss' Girl" she needs to step her game up, do something notable, and stop talking about make-up on her damn myspace. Hopefully her work with producer Swizz Beatz (Busta Rhymes "Touch It", Eve "Tambourine", Beyonce "Upgrade U") will be as exciting as "Lip Gloss" was when I first heard it. Right now, I can't say I've been impressed by the leaked stuff. I know, I know. I'm being way harsh on this 17 year old girl, but the reality of the situation is that she needs a bangalicious follow-up if she doesn't want to fall into the realm of one-hit-wonder.

Going back to the point of this post, GotdioN's mix gives the appropriate edge to Mama's aggressive "What you know 'bout me", however it may be a bit too aggressive for a song about beauty products. Take a listen and decide for yourself.

d/l: LIL MAMA- Lip Gloss (GotdioN remix) (YSI)
(aggressive pop-rap remix)
- space it / site it - space it - wik it - hype it -

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viernes, julio 06, 2007

ghosts & liars: we'll carry on.

GHOSTS & LIARS are an indie-pop quintet from Tacoma, WA. The band is a new project by several members of Some By Sea.

I got a friend request from them on VIRB, and immediately accepted it because (I'm friendly and) my narcissism propels me to desire having a lot of internet friends. Before friending them though, I decided I'd take a listen to a tune or two. There were two demos and two live songs on their page. I clicked the first one (a demo). Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. VERY-SUPER pleasantly surprised. So VERY-SUPER pleasantly surprised that I'm writing a post about these peeps.

"We'll Carry On" is an excellent demo-- a delightful, upbeat folk-pop song that could be heard on The O.C. if it still existed. Some might consider that an insult, but what I mean to say is that this is a damn catchy piece of indie-pop. Basically, you'll be thumping your foot, humming along, and swaying your head to this one. Or maybe I'll just be doing that. Whatever. I think you will like this. It's a summer jam that you could blast out your car window or simply lie around the porch to. "Sunsets on the Sidenotes" is just as good (possibly better).

For those concerned with cred and name-dropping, Ghosts & Liars have played a show with Anathallo and will be playing in Tacoma with Rocky Votolato on July 20th. Members of the band like Neutral Milk Hotel, Bishop Allen, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Decibully, Lucky Soul, Queens of the Stone Age, and Rilo Kiley. Cred is stupid. This music is good. Got it?

d/l: GHOSTS & LIARS- We'll Carry On (demo) (YSI)
d/l: GHOSTS & LIARS- Sunsets on the Sidenotes (demo) (YSI)
(indie folk pop from Tacoma)
- site it - virb it - space it - purev it - lj it - flickr it -

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miércoles, julio 04, 2007

q-tip: work it out.

Q-TIP is apparently coming back.

Technically, I guess you could say he never left given his guest appearances on songs by Busta Rhymes, DJ Shadow, Hi-Tek, and R.E.M. since the disbanding of A Tribe Called Quest and his first solo album Amplified.

Due to label politics, two Q-Tip albums Kamaal the Abstract (2002) and Open (2005) were never released. Apparently the tunes weren't "commercial" enough. Now that he's parted ways with Arista and signed to Motown/Universal, it seems like we may finally hear a new album from Mr. Kamaal Ibn John Fareed. The Renaissance is set to be released in October 2007, with the lead single being "Work It Out".

While I don't think "Work It Out" has the commercial appeal that Arista could never find, I ask--- who cares? While I definitely have nothing against mainstream hip-hop production (a la Swizzy), it's really refreshing to hear Q-Tip with a live band. In some ways, I feel like this is how he's meant to be heard. Not to mention that there will be a few more unheard J. Dilla productions on this album.

PS: Word of advice. This track is a grower. Give it about four listens before you dismiss it.

d/l: Q-TIP- Work It Out (YSI)
(new hip-hop)
- buy it - space it - wik it - hype it -

WEBBYVANDERQUACKIN': Speaking of Swizzy, have you heard the new Busta single "Watch Ya Mouth"? It's definitely doesn't have the commercial appeal of "Touch It", but once again--- who cares? Busta sounds great on this one, even if I don't really like him much...hear it at allhiphop.

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