I’ll tell you why.
He released a sucky album.
Lasers was his Vietnam.
(‘You can’t relate those two, that’s disgraceful’)
Chi Town’s finest has a new mixtape out, Friend of The People. If this was a maths lesson I would be using those crocodile signs:
Lasers<Friends Of The People but Fotp<The Cool.
In essence, it is much better than Lasers (not too difficult to achieve) with Lupe’s trademark wodsmithery
but lacks the instrumental finesse of The Cool. If anything it’s too dancy a mixtape for me.
Give it a whirl, I dare ya: http://www.earmilk.com/2011/11/24/lupe-fiasco-–-friend-of-the-people-i-fight-evil-mixtape/
After a short stay in London, where I increasingly feel more and more like Toby Young (My slot on Grumpy & Young is confirmed) I came back home requiring new music.
Fast forward to: Listening to the recently downloaded How To Make It In America Vol. 2 Mixtape (with all the usual musical suspects and Scott Mescudi making the show sound like a new form of democracy for the disenchanted HBO viewing youth) I stumble across this:
For the shriek/brass at the beginning alone.
Then I find Verve Remixed have teamed up with La Noire fellas to create an EP so good it may even be illegal in Montana.
Here’s a ticklah for ya.
Belatedly, I grab me a piece of the Motor City Drum Ensemble action. This DJ Kicks comp is amongst the most varied yet flows better than the rum punch at your Dad’s 50th.
Whilst all this, I just about clashed with actual titans over potentially the biggest non-important decision of my life: to beatbox or to jambox? Jambox wins I think. I might change my mind tomorrow. But if I put it down in writing it makes it more serious.
Apologies for all the Breakfast Club, I went and ate a burger at a themed cafe on the friday.
We're just shy of hitting 7 billion people on our fine planet yet we still seem to struggle to create original post-Strokesian guitar music. I mean even The Strokes struggle to move beyond Is This It? (becoming ever more ironic as the years drag on). However we do have glimmers here and there. TVOTR, Radiohead, Bombay Bicycle Club (don't disagree with me), Vampire Weekend at times, there sure are others lalloping about. Unfortunately, most guitar-focused music rehashes early, mid or late U2 or just fill the ladrock void left by Oasis. One band that's always been on my radar of 'could be sensational' are This Town Needs Guns. In Math Rock terms, they are industrious MA students surrounded by fresh faced young pretenders eager for the first union pub crawl. Their new release, Adventure, Stamina & Anger/Mmspector Iorse (I promise those aren't typo's) tells you all you need to know about their credentials - its a more nuanced math rock sound, with sturdier lyrics and Stuart Smith's voice only overshadowed by the incredible Jo Prendergast (I will one day blog about my wish for Jo to write the music for my debut feature, but I digress).
The point is, I want/You want/Your local fishmonger wants decent imaginative, pushing the envelope rock music. It's all well and good to see the dance genres and rap genres gaining plaudits but the guitar remains a stalwart of the music industry yet we have seldom few artists who showcase the instrument in 2011. This Town Needs Guns do. Here's some acoustic calculus:
It’s party conference season, we’re experiencing an Indian Summer a tad late and no one told the Irish there was in fact treasure at the end of the rainbow in terms of 150 million odd quid worth of silver lying in a U-boat sunk wreck rather than the traditional view that gold was on offer.
That being said, the Irish sea isn’t the only place to find treasure – two thoroughly British tracks (Yes, I know I’m beginning to sound like I’m advertising some kind of Somerset fruit cider) that should be breaking up the Eurotrance trash and insipid American dubstep RnB are below:
I’ve been eagerly awaiting an audio return from Ben Westbeech, his first record Welcome To The Best Years of Your Life encapsulates the British music scene of the last decade or so: quintessentially Anglo in terms of lyrical theme, quirkiness and the kind of multicultural (meltingpotofgenreswhilstremainingauthentic) product even the Daily Mail can’t lament. There’s not many records I could apply that attribute to.
So, I’m currently listening to There’s More To Life Than This as I’m typing away.
At first I miss the more diverse and leftfield elements of the first record and, far from sounding like a Seal album, Westbeech has embraced the mainstream.
Before I get shot down for being a music fascist, I think this the record is good, solid, dependable. It’s almost a Jamiroquai record – the bass lines and extended vocal melody intro’s are a big giveaway. It hasn’t got the level of creative impetus that set Ben up as a truly promising artist in album #1 (none of this Sound of 2011/NME Ones to Watch malarky) yet his voice remains as effortless as ever and the production is good if a little predictable.
If you enjoy the Verve Remixed series but find James Blake a little dark and unsettling, then this is perfect.
All that said, it’s nice midnight oil burner.
I know this path is well trodden, but let’s face it instant coffee (yes even nescafe gold) just about makes it into second place. I think I’d prefer a caffeine patch. Having started a new this week, I have been yearning for freshly brewed black coffee (crude oil strength please) but also new music to wind the evenings down to.
Two things have come my way which have acted as my caffeine substitute – after all I’ve pretty much worn out Watch The Throne (good luck we are well past vinyl).
First off Toro y Moi‘s new Ep, Freaking Out, sounds like the radio frequency i was always tuning into post-carjacking on the GTA Vice City. Electro-Disco to begin with but with a more stubborn backbone than previous attempts – electro-disco does tend to sounds the same, but this manages to stick in my head in the non-annoying sense.
To round up – Stones Throw once again show that they are a label to be reckoned with (Aloe Blacc, Madlib, Mayer Hawthorne to name but a few…) Classic from M.E.D. (aka Medaphoar). Aside from the appearances from Aloe, Hodgy Beats & Talib Kweli, M.E.D. classic has coherence where few rap records achieve these days. In other words, it’s a damn good record. I don’t feel i should say much more. For lovers of Kanye at his productive best, Shad, Black Thought, J Dilla, this is a must in the iTunes library.
I don’t know where to begin.
I know I’ve been rather thin with the correspondence of late. I apologise – I just can’t make much sense of it all recently. Rusty.
Usually the news (like the politicians and us mere folk) takes the summer off.
Like…drink a few too many GnT’s, daily gesture angrily at meteorologists, realise you hate last season’s summer gear, take a staycation/eurotrip/both, read an absurd amount of books/sunday supplements and just generally take it easy.
not exactly the summer Lionel Richie peeters on about.
Riots…in England. Gaddafi vs. The World. THE WORST ECONOMIC CRISIS SINCE LIKE FOREVER. RupertMurdochGate. Hurricane Irene. Crazy Republican candidates (that’s pretty much a standard 4 year ordeal to be fair). Nick Clegg inadvertently becomes a smurf whilst in Glasgow. Even our real life superman Usain Bolt became very much mortal today. AND don’t even mention the Man Utd – Arsenal scoreline.
What I’m saying is, this summer has been topsy turvy – like a Dan Brown novel – if Dan Brown was brought up by his foster parents Nick Hornby & Hunter S Thompson. It would be cutesy-nostalgic-bat-shit-crazy-investigative-thriller, that’s for sure.
I mean there is even a genre of music dedicated to girls dancing in their underwear. SERIOUSLY, pantystep? (It is quite good mind)
As I was just getting to grips with the in’s and out’s, do’s & don’t’s, ‘friendly’ leaders/bad dictators, double dip mint choc chip recession and so on – it all evades my grasp. I think my mission now is to gain that near-acquisition of what 2011 may or may not be.
…and apparently I really was missed.
1) Fix Broken Society
2) Explain Rick Perry’s Popularity
3) Solve The Eurozone Crisis
4) Become vegetarian for a month (Germanic Meat Overload)
Anyway, for now here’s Otis brought back for the young kids who can’t remember soul music.