Archive: Jan 2005

  1. thyme, rue, sage


    Sage Francis – Slow Down Gandhi
    Sage Francis – Escape Artist
    something happens to white kids when they become emcees. they either end up doing lighthearted (but catchy!) self-mocking raps that highlight their production skills (or complete lack thereof; remember this shit?), or they get hunched over, pissed as hell, and scare the shit out of everyone with bitingly political raps, incredible production and a towering, bear-like flow. in the former corner, we’ve got Mocky, Edan and so on. in the latter, we’ve got artistic monsters like El-P, Food for Animals, and Sage Francis.
    make no mistake, this is a HIGHLY political album, so if you like hip-hop for the booty twitch it gives you or because you like pointless blingy narratives, skip this one. however. if you’re still here, listen to these tracks and put Sage’s upcoming release, A Healthy Distrust, on your to-buy list [pre-order from Amazon]. the LP features a slew of serious production cred, with the likes of Dangermouse, Sixtoo, Reanimator, and Alias contributing heavily to this album. the whole thing plays from start to finish without giving you a chance to catch your breath – I hadn’t even noticed the track had changed at several points. the production styles are varied, but overall the album sounds a great deal like it could be released on Anticon, with a fast mix of samples old and new, dusty samples and electronic loops alike rolling up and down your face like an hour of rhythmic punches that keep your head nodding like a speedbag. if you like Lateef the truthspeaker, El-P, or almost any other hip-hopper that gives a concious edge to their message, get this album. if you’re indifferent lyrically, but want to get your goddamn face rocked off, GET THIS ALBUM. seriously. it was really, really tough picking tracks from this CD, they’re all diamond-solid.
    oh, and fucking eck what a lineup.

  2. Blam! Monday Fire!

    the fire

    “Hideyaface” by Prefuse 73 — This is it, the ultimate Prefuse 73 collabo, featuring Ghostface and El-P – wha?!?
    Prefuse 73, is the (mostly) Hip-Hop guise of Scott Herren – he also works as Savath & Savalas, Delarosa & Asora, Piano Overlord and Ahmad Szabo – he wowed audiences and critics alike with his first album Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives and more recent album One Word Extinguisher, both really stellar album.
    P73 takes his production up a notch on this one, the lead single for the new album Surrounded by Silence (which comes out this spring on WARP). As far as I’m concerned, this is the best vocal-hip-hop he’s ever produced, with a banging track that perfectly matches the fire Ghost and El-P are spitting.
    And talk about fire, right? Ghostface Killah, arguably the best solo Wu-Tang artist, still fresh off his Pretty Toney album, meeting up with reknowned producer, former Company Flow member, CEO of Definitive Jux records, and rapper El-P? Sweet jesus, talk about a match made hip-hop heaven.
    PS: Shoutout to James on his new(ish) music-blog, Headphonesex – check out the new WARP signing, Maximo Park, as well as some other fav’s like new Daft and remixed Annie.

  3. Long Distance Runaround

    The Turbotito

    Ladyflash (Hot Chip Remix) – The Go Team!
    I hestitated whether to post this or not, but ultimately, its quality won out. I mean, this thing is just too good not to share. And unfortunately, the 7″ 45 on which it’s pressed isn’t stocked in every record store. The Go Team! hasn’t yet enjoyed much success stateside, but if we all just hold out for second, I think that will change when they play the Vice Magazine party at SXSW this year. That should help, and I wish them luck in the bidding war that’s sure to erupt post-show.
    Anyway, I’ve posted Hot Chip in the past. On Moshi Moshi and with some help from Kitsune, the Hot Chip boys have been doing well for themselves in England and now Europe. Their reworking of Ladyflash here is just excellent. It scours the track for its best elements, throws it over a nasty beat and just keeps hitting you with surprises. This is the type of song that can convert anyone to a band.
    The team is an international 50/50 girl/boy-split effort, with Sam Dook on geetars, Chi on drums, Jamie Bell on bass, Ninja on vox, multi-instrumentalist Silke, and band leader/producer Ian P on guitar and (according to their press release) “fucked up harmonica.” Their amazing album, Thunder, Lightning, Strike came out last year on the fantastic Memphis Industries label, and it is available to buy direct from the label (support indie music!) here. You can also pick up the Ladyflash 7″, as well as the awesome Power is On 12″. You can also pick up the 12″ through insound.

  4. CGT

    1 Comment

    California Guitar Trio — Punta Patri
    California Guitar Trio — Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
    Radio sucks. I say that as an ex radio DJ. You probably all know that though, which is why you’re here and not listening to hot 97. Every once in a while though, you run across something interesting. I remember first hearing about the California Guitar Trio while listening to NPR at my parents’ house many years ago.
    The interview with them mentioned that they were students of Robert Fripp (one of my musical gods) and that got my attention. It went on to basically explain that they were three badass guitarists from different countries (US, Belgium, and Japan) and different musical backgrounds (rock, classical, and surf) who met in one of Fripp’s advanced guitar classes and decided to play together. They play acoustic instrumentals and use an expanded guitar tuning to get a wider range than normal. They also experiment heavily with “parts circulation” which basically means that each consecutive note of a melody is played by a different guitarist; so the individual parts are unrecognizable but they all come together into something brilliant.
    Now, thanks to the miracle of the interweb, I can tell you that I first heard them on September 5th, 1998 precisely. You can even listen to the same All Things Considered interview that got me hooked.
    They’re on tour and you should go check them out. I, unfortunately, am going to miss them this time around as I’ll be out of town when they come through New York (I’m going to be in California, ironically enough). You can buy their albums from their website or through the usual places like amazon and Insound. You can also purchase mp3s for cheaper.

  5. Still shameless, still self-promotion



    Hi, I’m David Brusie. I’m back to plug myself.
    In addition to being a full-fledged Robot, I’m a singer-songwriter in Minneapolis. I’ve posted here before, but I’m constantly writing, re-writing and recording, so I try to post some new stuff every once in a while. I just finished
    The City Is Ours
    and who could forget
    Fort Wayne
    You can buy some of my music here.
    Any kind of feedback is greatly appreciated, so feel free to leave either positive, negative or neutral comments. Thanks for listening.

  6. it’ll be everywhere


    west coast kills it for indie hip-hop. no contest.

    Omni – Equalize
    Omni – Amores Perros
    that said, I haven’t been this excited about a west-coast rapper LP in a long time. probably not since the Lifesavas’ Spirit in Stone dropped. though Omni comes from the L.A. scene, though he’s caught a great deal of international attention – his first LP was released on the Belgian label B9000, he’s toured all over the place, and is big in Japan (probably tall too). these tracks come from his outstanding sophomore release, Burgundy Brown, on Ariel records [buy it from Kajmere!].
    Omni’s flow is warm and rich, which is a perfect match for his honest, no bullshit lyrical style. almost every track on this album was produced via a collaboration with a different producer (almost Erlend Oye/Unrest style), but despite side a wide array of talent contributing to the album, all 15 tracks are cohesive, consistent, and outstanding. virtually every track (save the skits) could be a single, and the production draws on funk, Prefuse-ish sound schemes, straightforward hip-hop breaks, and electronic influences to create something that’ll please every part of your musical palette. you can’t help but think of Del or Jurassic 5 when you listen to his songs the first time around (the left coast sound is undeniable), but it goes waaaaay beyond previous works in both depth and replay value. I’ve been listening to it all week, no joke. well, a little Faith Boogie on the side – it’s been a good week for hip-hop.
    so: Omni [visit his website]. sick, intense head-nodding vocals, and a grab-bag of top-notch production from a plethora of different musical camps to support them. recommended. requisite if you love hip-hop.

  7. In the Garage, I feel safe…

    from left field

    “Another Number” by the Cribs
    Here’s some sweet new garage-rock from the UK band, the Cribs. The band is made of three brothers, Ross, and Gary and Ryan who are twins. They have been playing music together for years, since they were wee kiddies of five and nine years old (in 1989).
    They play a nice mix of garage-influenced rock on their just-released self titled album – this song sounds pretty new-garage-pop-y, yeah like the Strokes I guess, right? They cite Calvin Johnson and Bobby Conn as their biggest influences, and in most of the other songs on the album I hear echos of a lot of late-70s early-80s mod-influenced pop-punk bands with plural-word names. You know, like the Agents, the Vapors, the Stiffs, the (dare I say it?) Buzzcocks (I said it!).
    Speaking of pop-punk, here’s a little gem, “TV Movie” by the Slowguns, a Manchester band who recorded a couple of EPs between 1978 and 1980 – this song got played on the eminent John Peel’s Radio1 show (RIP), but the band never really took off, unfortunately. This track comes courtesey of the absolutely amazing Mod Pop Punk Archives – a ginormous clearing-house site of information on, and a ton of MP3s of, the first wave of garage/pop-punk bands from this era.
    If you dig the Cribs song, you can buy their album (which is pretty solid all around), here – be sure to check out their website, as well as the mod pop punk archives.
    Also, the Subjects (who I posted last week) are playing at SouthPaw (in Brooklyn) tonight, prolly around 10pm (doors at 8), so do check them out – they’re really damn good.

  8. Starting Up the New School

    The Turbotito

    Turbotito – Losing Their Heads.
    Turbotito is the stage name of Filip Nikolic. You might recognize him as the bassist from Junior Senior, whose smash Move Your Feet was an unavoidable dancefloor anthem not too long ago. The band hasn’t broken up or anything, and actually has a new one coming out soon. In the interim, Filip has been rocking on the Turbotito tip.
    With all the buzz surrounding the leaked Daft Punk tracks and their subsequent upcoming album, I’d been in the mood for some fun new dancey stuff. Not necessarily French House, but definitely something synthy. So along comes Turbotito, with his quick beats and synth lines that seem stolen from an NES Castlevania sequel that was never made. It’s hot, with fun little drum rolls and whatnot. Basically it’s got everything you want in a song.
    Turbitoto has no music available to buy, but there are three more songs at his page linked above. You can buy all of Junior Senior’s releases direct from the band. And for those of you in the LA area, Turbotito will be dj’ing tonight at Star Shoes on Hollywood. Free Red Stripe and Vodka bar from 10 – 11. The other DJ will be Keith Morris of Black Flag and Circle Jerks.