Hang with this one . . . It’s pretty cool.
Archive for April, 2010
Okay, so it’s cute and kind of stupid, yet I like it.
A bunch of you-probably-need-to-hear-this mixtapes have dropped recently . . .
First, foremost, and most anticipated is the fourth and final Raekwon mixtape, Vatican 4. Volumes one through three were pretty much stellar–or at least remaerkable. I haven’t listened to the whole thing yet, but check out this track . . .
Second, is Game’s advance-of-the-album mixtape, R.E.D. Room, by the great DJ Skee. Game’s first album–and the mixtapes before and around that record–are some of the best mainstream gangsta rap in history. Since then, the quality of his releases has dipped. Sometimes dramatically. He keeps trying to sound like other people, losing his own voice, and how many times can he shout out other guys. We get it, you like Dr. Dre and you have no love for Fiddy. Still, I always give his stuff a listen because when he’s on fire, he burns.
A little more off the beaten track is Theophilus London’s, “I Want You” mixtape. I found it here, and I’m glad I did . . .
Lastly, this ain’t no mixtape, but is a release without a barcode . . .
Buffetibre is, without a doubt, one of the funnest places on the interweb. There’s always some weirdo indie band covering some even weirder esoteric 1980s tune, and then out of nowhere you’ll find some (relatively) known artist or a remix that blows your mind. Nuggets, people. It’s a place to pan for gold. You’ll find all kinds of stones–some rocks, some quartz, and some pure gold. But their latest 180-song cover project, Peace, done with Amnesty International, is finally out. They’ve been talking about it–and working on it–for 2 years. And it was worth the wait.
What do you get if you buy it? (Here.) You get more than 180 exclusive and unreleased songs by artists from more than 50 countries, all for the price of a donation to Amnesty International Catalunya. The collected money will be used for AI’s investigation and action campaigns aimed at preventing cases of Human Rights abuses around the world.
All the songs included in PEACE are available for streaming at http://www.buffetlibredjs.net/peace.html as well as information on all artists participating in the project. The full compilation, downloadable through a donation to Amnesty International Catalunya, includes all the songs in 320Kbps mp3 format.
What artists are on the record? Glad you asked (inhales deeply and then spits fast and furious): Bonde Do Role, Apostle Of Hustle, Buck 65, Micah P. Hinson, Steve Wynn, Patrick Wolf, Paul Niehaus of Calexico, The Veils, Ra Ra Riot, The Antlers, Asobi Seksu, The Spinto Band, Port O’Brien, Thao + The Get Down Stay Down, X-Wife, Marc Almond, Mogwai . . . And that’s just naming a few.
Here’s a video and a few tunes, to make you wanna support this great, worthy project:
Patrick Wolf – Army Dreamers (Kate Bush cover)
Rockettothesky – Heroes (David Bowie cover)
Dusty Kid – Bullet With Butterfly Wings (Smashing Pumpkins cover)
Voxtrot – Whiskey and Water
Tahiti 80 – Crack Up
What’s up for the Bat, who will be in a bunch of projects in the coming year:
1. BATMAN 3. In a surprise move, the studio has agreed to let George Clooney reprise his role for the third film, after troubles on the set of Terminator Salvation made them back away from Christian Bale. Kidding, of course. Far as I know, it’s still the team supreme: Bale and Nolan. And director Christopher Nolan has no desire to film it in 3D. Hoo-freakin’-ray. I can’t stand 3D.
2. THE RETURN OF BROOOOOOOSE. Grant Morrison’s “Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne” miniseries will chase Bruce through time, where he was sent skipping like a stone by Darkseid. It’s the perfect story for Morrison: Non-linear, heavily based on concept, and inherently told in unconnected chapters. Reading Grant Morrison is like watching every scene in a great movie in random order and with a few key background scenes missing altogether: It doesn’t make sense until you see the whole thing. Twice, at least. And then you still feel like you missed something.
3. TIME MASTERS. Alongside that series, DC will run “Time Masters: Vanishing Point” in July, which will feature Superman, Green Lantern and Booster Gold(!?!) trying to snatch Mr. Wayne out of the timestream. It’s so bizarre how similar the treatments of Batman and Captain America have been, from being lost in time to the assumption of the super-identity by another character to the fact that Bats, like Cap, apparently will not retake his title when he returns. In interviews, DC folks have been saying that Grayson will be Batman for the foreseeable future . . .
4. BUT NOT THE RETURN OF BROOOOSE. . . . Which is a good thing, actually, because Grant Morrison’s “Batman and Robin” book is easily the best DC book on the stands right now, and the only one I’d say classifies as a “can’t miss” comic.
5. DAVID FINCH, who recently signed an exclusive contract with DC Comics, will do his first non-cover work on Batman #700. I can’t think of a more fitting project for his dark, violent specialties.
6. KICK ASS! And don’t miss Nic Cage’s (apparently ad-libbed) tribute to Adam West in the Kick Ass movie.
7. KIDDIE BATMAN! Or Batman: Brave and the Bold on Cartoon Network, if you’ve got kids under twelve who require a kinder, gentler dark knight than the one in Nolan’s films. It’s been renewed for a second season. Plus, it’s voiced by that curly haired weirdo from The Drew Carey show!
8. BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD. DC has released a trailer:
Wanna know why raprock usually sucks? It’s because it combines a mediocre rapper with a guitarist who can maybe hit one lick or invent a catchy riff. It’s formulaic about 95% of the time.
But what about rapsoul? Well, it’s generally a little better, but the formula is basically the same: Get a soul singer (Alicia Keys, Mary J., etc.) to sing a hook, and then throw some big name rapper who is either past his prime or who is willing to phone in a verse or two. Meh.
J. Pinder, a young rapper from Seattle, has broken the mold. On his “Code Red” EP, he couples a smooth, fresh delivery with soulful lyrics—songs about inspiration and perspiration—over rap beats. His delivery is silky smooth, but he doesn’t use it to seduce (like Cool J, e.g.). Yes, he’s charming, but he’s rapping about real hip hop topics: Trouble, God, violence, and living life to the fullest. Take this verse from “Go Far”: “depart from the bad things, bad jobs, bad neighborhoods that caused you to have bad dreams/nightmares, why bear?/why stay when the air is quite clear?” Or the hook on “Safe Place”: “I get this dough/And I put in a safe place/safe/but it ain’t safe no more/I need a safe for my safe/and a gun to protect my life.” It’s playful, intelligent, and streetwise. The EP has production by some underground greats (Jake One, Vitamin D) and features appearances by the likes of Guilty Simpson, Big Pooh, and Toki Wright. And you can’t go wrong at the price: Free.
Or taste it first!
Hellride East is the cover project by Minutemen bassist Mike Watt; Dinosaur Jr.’s J. Mascis and Murph. There were other iterations of Hellride, but this was the New York one. And best of all: All they did was Iggy. From July 22, 2000, at NY’s great Knitting Factory venue . . .
01. real cool time
02. little doll
03. not right
07. down on the street
11. i wanna be your dog
(Taste this track, to see if you want the zipfile below):
12. i got a right
14. no fun
15. search & destroy
*A few tracks are missing, and there might be some from another show mixed in here . . .
This is a quick shout out for the smoothness of John Zedd, whose “In This Together” album is nothing but sweet, gentle love songs. His voice is reminiscent of John Mayer, James Taylor, Dan Fogelberg . . . It’s not going to blow you away, but it isn’t trying to. It’s more like a gentle breeze.
Best of all, he’s the real thing. A man who makes music that he wants to make, and who followed his dreams.