Thursday, March 11, 2010

Musical Distractions

If you’re not careful you may miss some of the great music currently coming out in droves. Not sure what got into the air in 2010, but I’ve already got a slew of albums that are in the Repeat mode of my iPod. Do yourself a favor and click on the links (which are also today’s distraction) if you’re looking for some new tunes to fill your boring workday.

I should point out that I’ve made a conscious decision to move outside my comfort zone with music. No, not everything works for me (sorry Vampire Weekend) and there is some usual hard rock in here, but a lot of it is a departure for me.

Off we go…

Galactic – Ya Ka May: Since I’m being up front here, I’ve found most hip hop boring as hell. Most of it consists of misogyny, bragging, insults or a combination of all three. Seldom has any rap artist tried to create something new and move the genre in a new direction. There have been moments along the way where I had some hope, but it seems to always revert back to the same old shit.

Enter Galactic, a funk rock band from New Orleans, breathing new life into rap, R&B and soul. This is one of the most energetic and invigorating albums in a long time. The band itself doesn’t have a lead singer, so they just invite guest rappers and singers into the fold and create what could be the beginning of a new, more creative, more energetic and though provoking era of hip hop.

Fingers crossed.

Here’s a live performance with Boot Riley to give you a taste. I dare you not to like this. I also decided that I want them to write my theme song for when I walk down the street.

Fang Island – Self Titled: Sounding like an experimental, hard rock version of The New Pornographers, this addictive new band has three lead guitarists who swap back solos quicker than I shirk my responsibilities (which is fast!). More music than lyrics, but I’m ok with that when the music is this good.

Check out a live performance of ‘Daisy’ which has terrible camera work, awful sound, but still gives you an idea what they’re about. I think MTV is using this song to promote one of its countless reality shows. Shouldn’t they just change their name to RTV? Check out ‘Welcome Wagon’ on LaLa, as well. That will wake you up.

Citay – Dream Get Together: Considering Fleetwood Mac was one of the most successful bands in history, I’ve always wondered why more musicians didn’t ‘borrow’ from them more often. Citay seems to be leaning in that direction and there are moments when it feels like Lindsey Buckingham is playing along, but they can’t help ripping it up. This is a very good thing. Who wants to be a copy cat? If you want a soundtrack for southern California, this is probably it. Puts me in a good mood every time I listen.

A perfect example of their laid back, upbeat vibe. Love this song.

These New Puritans – Hidden: I’m telling you up front that you will either love this or hate it. I doubt many people will be in between on this one. I happen to love it even if it is a bunch of sounds and beats and strange instruments randomly joining in. Somehow this British band gets it to congeal and make it work. If I knew any better, I’d say this is damn near genius. You’ll have to make up your own minds

The video for ‘We Want War’.

Spoon – Transference: I made the mistake of overlooking Spoon a few years ago and will never do so again. They are probably the most unheralded band around right now. Consistently great music for ten years and counting. They’ve stripped down their sound a bit on this release, but the songs are so good it barely makes a difference.

Here is ‘Written in Reverse’ which is typical Spoon; meaning fantastic.

Ray Wylie Hubbard – A: Enlightenment, etc: This is one long ass title, but as long as you see that A, B, C option you have the right one. While most sites have this listed as a country album, it sounds more like blues to me. Hubbard is a throw back to the growly, haggard, whiskey abusing singers like Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker. And still I’m thoroughly enjoying this album. There are times I can’t explain why certain music appeals to me, but this is dark and despairing and I’m enjoying every minute of it.

Ray Wylie’s ‘Drunken Poet’s Dream’ just to prove to you he looks just like he sounds. I want to hang out with him for a weekend.

Motion City Soundtrack – My Dinosaur Life: It took me a few listens of this before I realized they were more than another pop punk wannabe band. Their tunes are catchy as hell, but underneath it all are some hilariously biting lyrics that stay with you. Picture a harder, more intelligent ‘All American Rejects’ and you’re getting close.

Enjoy their insane video for ‘Her Words Destroyed My Planet’ which proves once and for all that white boys have surpassed black men in stupid hair styles. Never thought I’d see the day.

Lightspeed Champion – Life is Sweet, Nice To Meet You!: The Dev part of Test Icicles has sprung loose and started his own band. This is album number two and I will be going back soon to pick up number one. I’m not even going to attempt to explain this one as the genres are all over the place, but every song is fantastic in their own unique way. Check out below to get a taste.

Here is Dev playing some acoustic Lightspeed tunes.

If you want a more complete sound here is his surreal video for ‘Marlene’ which is off the latest.

That’s it for this week, friends. Enjoy the music.


Jum said...

That Galactic song was fucking superb.

Rob said...

"She likes being naked and gazed upon." Great stuff, Beach. Fang Island reminds me of one of my favorites: Japandroids. Could just be the distorted sound quality of the Daisy video though, as Japandroids are low-fi.