Thursday, December 31, 2009

Stew's Top Ten Albums of 2009

Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Electro-Pop
Part 2 of my year end lists. Here are the albums I enjoyed the most this year. I'm not a critic, I'm a fan. So I don't claim these albums are the "Best" of 2009; they're just the ones I liked best. Click play to rock out. If you like what you hear, click the album title to go to the albums' lala page where you can listen to the whole thing and buy the mp3 album.

TEN
Joy - Phish
OK, there's nothing groundbreaking here. But here's what you get: ten painstakingly well-crafted songs, Trey singing in tune, and the return of Phish. The title track's chorus sums up the album, Phish's relationship with their fans, and hell, maybe even the quartet's entire career: we want you to be happy/don't live inside the gloom/we want you to be happy/come step outside your room/we want you to be happy/'cause this is your song too. This is your song too!
Joy
Ocelot

NINE
Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures
By far the heaviest thing on this list. I'm still a fan of some solid hard rock, there just isn't much good stuff getting made these days (where have you gone, Soundgarden and Rage Against the Machine?). Them Crooked Vultures proves that you can still make a killer heavy album that is commercially relevant, even if it took three of the best rockers in the game to pull it off.
No One Loves Me And Neither Do I
New Fang

EIGHT
I and Love and You - The Avett Brothers
Folk rock goodness. The Avett Brothers signed a major label record deal and brought in the legendary Rick Rubin to produce their new album. The result is a set of heartfelt lyrics, perfectly produced and sung by guys who can really belt it out. Aside from Kick Drum Heart, the band kinda pushed their punk leanings aside, but this fact doesn't detract from a fantastic album.
And It Spread
Kick Drum Heart

SEVEN
Humbug - Arctic Monkeys
An awesome left turn from these British bad boys. Darker, slower, more brooding than their first two albums. The musicianship is still perfect though, which is the secret behind the Monkeys' don't-give-a-shit appearance. And Alex Turner's cockney's sneer is in full force here, even if he's not quite as mad as he used to be. Millions of dollars will do that to you.
Crying Lightning
Cornerstone

SIX
Animal - Miike Snow
A lot of fun. Probably too simple for music critics to embrace, but just what I'm looking for when I'm ready to have a good time. Animal, Silvia, and Black and Blue all could've been in my top ten songs. Let the electro-pop begin!
Animal
Silvia

FIVE
Seek Magic - Memory Tapes
My "thank Pitchfork!" album of the year. So obscure I never would have found it without the help of the snobs over on Wabansia Street. Memory Tapes is electro-pop, but much more dense and exploratory than the rest of the stuff I heard this year. Davye Hawk weaves just enough of a common thread through each of his tracks to keep things cohesive while still exploring multiple styles within one song. Amazing.
Green Knight
Graphics (edit)

FOUR
xx - The xx
I like the term art pop for this hard-to-define album. It's miles away from what I normally listen to, but it's too good to be ignored. The vocal interplay is great, the simplistic arrangements are incredible and the overall sound is unique. Not bad for a bunch of 20 year olds. Sexiest album of the year.
Crystallised
Infinity

THREE
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix - Phoenix
Phoenix takes The Great Leap Forward. Every song is perfect, and the first two songs are so perfect it's not even fair. Thomas Mars' vocal inflection and delivery lends a uniqueness to each note that I really enjoy. Replay value x1000. I'll still be listening in a decade.
Lisztomania
Love Like a Sunset

TWO
The Satanic Satanist - Portugal. The Man
Critics like to talk about albums where ever note sounds as if the band agonized over until it was just right (with Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest being the poster child for this). But what about when a band makes an album that streamlines and distills their earlier work down to its essence, to the point where not a single note is wasted? That's what you hear when you listen to The Satanic Satanist: a band the used to really stretch out and jam on their albums has decided to tighten up, crossfade the tracks, give it to you straight, and maintain the album's momentum so that when it ends you sigh and say, "I'm really glad I listened to the whole thing."
People Say
Work All Day
Do You

ONE
Manners - Passion Pit
If you don't like falsetto, I'm sorry. Rob, Kevin, and I decided we liked Passion Pit somewhere back in February, and I was eagerly awaiting their debut full-length album when it dropped. I wasn't expecting it to be so polished, for them to sound like a band, not a talented guy in his basement. Layers upon layers of sound to the point where each song sounds like a celebration. And it is: Manners is my favorite album of the year because it makes me smile and want to listen to the whole thing again each time I hear it. From the bounce of Little Secrets to the Longing of Til Kingdom Come to the incomparable Sleepyhead, every note is affected with so much, well, passion, that you just can't ignore. My favorite album of 2009.
Moth's Wings
The Reeling
Sleepyhead

HONORABLE MENTION
Probably harder to pick these twenty than the top ten. In no particular order:

Veckatimest - Grizzly Bear, Cosmic Egg - Wolfmother, The Resurrectionists/Night Raider - Crippled Black Phoenix (Pink Floyd rides again), Noble Beast - Andrew Bird, Cage the Elephant - Cage the Elephant, Farm - Dinosaur Jr. (I Don't Want to Go There is the guitar solo of the year), Horehound - The Dead Weather, Blakroc - Blakroc, Us - Brother Ali, The Blueprint 3 - Jay-Z, Attention Deficit - Wale, Only Built for Cuban Linx Part II - Raekwon the Chef, Bromst - Dan Deacon, Ambivalence Avenue - Bibio, Ad Explorata - Sound Tribe Sector 9, No More Stories... - Mew, Real Estate - Real Estate, The Resistance - Muse, Keep it Hid - Dan Auerbach, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand

And because I don't like everything, three albums that critics loved and I didn't:

Embryonic - The Flaming Lips
If you can, listen to this album all the way through and then immediately put on the Lips' album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. You'll understand why I don't like this disc.

Bitte Orca - Dirty Projectors
A couple of good tracks, but nothing that's worthy of inclusion on best of lists.

Merriweather Post Pavilion - Animal Collective
Sorry guys. It's just noise to me.

Happy New Year!

Stew

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Beethoven

blind mans boom box


click HERE for a chronological playlist
or save this link for later when you need to get some work done.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Stew's Top Ten Songs of 2009


I get depressed on airplanes. Not really sure why; probably something to do with traveling away from people I care about and feeling isolated despite being in such close quarters with randoms.

And that's when I reach for my ipod. And these are the 2009 songs I'm most likely to put on.

Catchy-ness is a factor here. Hell, two of these songs appeared in commercials this year (bonus points for anyone who can name which two songs in the comments). So here you go, my ultimate playlist of 2009. Some of these bands may pop up in my top albums list next week...

Volume is your friend on these tracks. TURN IT UP!

TEN
I Want You Back - Discovery
How better to start a top ten list for the year of Michael Jackson's death than with a cover of arguably his best song? And yes, Discovery recorded this track before MJ died. White boys and auto-tune: who knew?

NINE
How to Emcee - Rakim
Rakim explains how its done. As Gabe would say, "Like learning to sculpt from Michaelangelo himself." Old school.

EIGHT
Lucid Dreams - Franz Ferdinand
Franz throws it down with an adventurous late-disc track. Whether or not you like the electronic outro on this track is a matter of personal preference, but the chorus is money for all involved.

SEVEN
Ambling Alp - Yeasayer
I was gonna put Tightrope by the same artist here, but then Ambling Alp came out. Honestly, this song is just better. Makes me really excited for Yeasayer's second LP, out in February. Still, props to Dark Was The Night (where Tightrope appears) for being a really enjoyable charity compiliation.

SIX
60 Feet Tall - The Dead Weather
I'm gonna quote my long-lost blog post about Horehound here: "The opening track sounds like it was recorded at Electric Ladyland with the ghost of Jimi Hendrix manning the soundboards. And the building was on fire." No mp3 here, apparently TDW's record company frowns on that stuff.


And now the top five. I make no apologies for these songs being insanely catchy.

FIVE
Ain't No Rest For The Wicked - Cage the Elephant
Someone told me that this track was actually a cover and that they were tired of bands getting credit for songs they didn't write. I told him I just didn't care. Like Nuke LaLoosh in Bull Durham, Cage the Elephant announces their presence with authority on their debut album, and this single is the highlight.

FOUR
1901 - Phoenix
Yeah, this song got a little ubiquitous as the year went along. But that doesn't change the fact that this track is just incredible. Either Lisztomania or 1901 has to be on every best songs list this year. For my money, I'll take 1901.

THREE
Little Secrets - Passion Pit
Nate: "Of course you like it, it's like four pop songs in one!" Can't argue with that. The multi-layered nature of Passion Pit's tracks is what I love about them, and Little Secrets is the best example of that. Also their most fun song live. My jam of the summer.

TWO
Bicycle - Memory Tapes
Davye Hawk shows a gift for melody on Memory Tapes' stunning debut, Seek Magic. Never is that gift more apparent than on this track, my 2009 "song for driving through the city at night." You know what I'm talking about. The outro reminds me of Hey Jude: repetitive, but so good you just don't want it to end.

ONE
While You Wait For The Others - Grizzly Bear
I can't help but gush about this song. It's epic, it's unique, it's sonically flawless, it's staggering live, and yet at it's core it's just a breakup song. Music went a lot of different ways in 2009, but for me, it peaked at the three minute mark of this track.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

Hey all-
Hope everybody is all set for a great holiday season. I've always been a fan of Christmas music. I'm not one of those people who start tuning into 94.9 on November 1st and pump the Christmas Jams for the next month and a half, but right around the holiday I always enjoy listening to some Christmas tunes. With that here are a few of my favorites....










Wishing you and yours the best this Christmas.
Ben

Saturday, December 19, 2009

james brown

I saw James Brown.

It was amazing. Most amazing sight I've ever seen. Memphis in May 2006.



check out this footwork


Merry christmas song from James Brown
"James Brown love ya"


Here is the bio of James, born in Barnwell, SC.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Brown


I miss the Soul Man.

And now a finale of highlights

Friday, December 18, 2009

Best of 2009

It's a Friday, I have no work today, and I've been listening to music for the past hour.  What better time than to reveal the much awaited list, the best of 09.  I know, you just jumped out of your seat.  Here's part 1, best albums - I'm not putting sound in, I'll do that for songs later.

Best Albums of 09:

5) Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures
I felt like Rock was back with this one - it was grungy and heavy with bass lines, and Dave Grohl was born on a drum set stool and is back there again, the best since Nirvana.

4) Bon Iver - Blood Bank EP
I may take flak for this, but "Woods" is gorgeous.

3) Pearl Jam - Backspacer
Yes, I really do think this is one of their best albums, especially of the past 10 years.  There are a lot of really, really good songs, especially the first half of the album with "Got Some" and "Amongst the Waves."

2) Passion Pit - Manners
No album has been as fun and energetic than Manners.  One second I'm chilling to it, the next minute it makes me want to go run 5 miles (Little Secrets has been on my 'run' playlist all year).  Plus, they don't mess around with their bass lines, which gives it that good umph that every pop-dance-funk album needs (look at Radiohead's bass lines, for me they make a world of difference).  I had the highest of expectations when I saw them in concert, and it they did not disappoint at all - one of the best, similar to Girl Talk.

1) Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion
This album gave me a better appreciation for progressive and 'exploratory' music and all music in general.  It made me give other music a second listen, because after listening to MPP about 900 times, I heard something new or found something different I liked every time, it's just that good.  Weird 5/4 tempos, intros that lasted way too long but somehow fit, repeated choruses that didn't get old. There was not a better effort at creating something completely unique and different this year.


REMIX! Remix! remix!

Here's a sweet set of Dirty South remixes for your Friday enjoyment:

(Player deleted so it doesn't start making noise every time someone visits the blog. Click the link below if you want to get down.)

Notable remixers featured on this mixtape: El-P (track 1), Memory Tapes (track 3), Flying Lotus (track 8), Prefuse 73 (track 10), and HEALTH (track 15). This mixtape is part of the promo for a new PSP game called Beaterator. It looks pretty excellent. If you have a PSP and like to make dope beats you might put this on your Christmas list.

The full page for this mixtape where you can see all the remixers and download a couple tracks can be found here.

Enjoy!
Stew

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Helluva Year for Bon Iver (sorry stew)



I'm saving my best of the decade post til next week or so, but first, my best of 2009. And while this was a pretty sweet year for music (as this blog is a testament to), as far as impact goes, few artists had more than Bon Iver (although something similar could be said about Grizzly Bear and Animal Collective). A critically acclaimed full length album For Emma, Forever Ago released in 2008 continued to climb, he released an equally sweet bonus EP Blood Bank in 2009, as well as launched a successful post-rock collaboration Volcano Choir. Quite a year for a guy who secluded himself in the northwoods of Wisconsin for a winter.

Have a listen to all of it, it's pretty good winter music. Some tracks not to miss are Skinny Love, Blood Bank, Island, IS, and Woods/Still.




Enjoy. See yall Xmas eve.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

EDWARD SHARPE & THE MAGNETIC ZEROS

Lead Singer: Alex Elbert
11 Members
Ensemble Group/60's Revival
Played their 1st show in 07
Started releasing music this past year
Thats all I know....



If this intrigued you as much as it did me, be sure to go here and watch their wild videos....

Edward Sharpe Videos

Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.
- Ben

mo diplo

Sunday, December 13, 2009

baile funk

read the previous post 1st then watch this
this encompasses the early on funk rap scene that is hard to get good quality except for just gettting the plain ole album or cd
slum rap does not get high quality you tube coverage and video
in my search of Brazilian Funk, the stuff that is going down in the clubs left and right, i found many blank areas. the music is hard to come by it seems but i know it is gold
here is one that is a gateway until i find what i am looking for

Funkiest Fight Song Ever.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sound Tribe Sector 9 - Ad Explorata

STS9 is back with their second album in as many years. Ad Explorata is a fitting name for the LP, as Murph and the boys continue to explore the limits of their genre bending style of instrumental music. The opening track, Phoneme, is a slow building gem of ambient goodness, while other tracks like EHM and Atlas approach an almost industrial sound. Overall, the album is more hard edged than their older work, but it is a natural progression from last year's Peaceblaster.

Stream Ad Explorata here

Buy Ad Explorata here

Phoneme

What I love about this band, however, is their live shows. You just can't grasp how much power they can put behind these tracks on stage until you see it for yourself. The studio may allow the fellas to try new things and create new sounds, but seeing a group of musicians pull off such a decidedly electronic sound mostly using real instruments is a thing of beauty. And now, ten years into their career, the band has a large and diverse catalog of music that they aren't afraid to dig deep into during their sets. They don't play two sets anymore (I think they shed the jam band moniker with Peaceblaster), but they still cram a lot of goodness into one show. Luke, Steve, and I were lucky enough to see them on Halloween this year. Here's what it looked like:



Like I said, more hard edged than it used to be. LEDs in your face!

And here's a sweet little STS9 music player where you can sample some tracks off the new album, some live stuff, some remixes, and anything else STS9:










Enjoy!
Stew

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Real Estate

Finally...something a little less douchey from the Jersey shore.
This is Real Estate. They make good chill music. They make good chill music with lyrics. They also make good chill music to listen to when snowed-in or defrosting.

This is their self-titled album. give it a spin.


Peace.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow....

In the spirit of the 18 inches of white fluffy stuff that allowed me and everyone else in the Mad City to sleep in and watch DVD's all day today....



they just don't make stuff like this anymore....

Sunday, December 6, 2009

armand van helden & A-TRAK

duck sauce!


Big ups to Columbia and Charleston

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Yeasayer - Ambling Alp video



Great song, pretty damn outrageous video. (Office warning: there is nudity in this video). Yeasayer's second album, Odd Blood, drops February 9, 2010.

Stick up for yourself, son!

Monday, November 30, 2009

yo mamma's big fat booty band

Guest blog by MC Clean
BOUNCE MUSIC
http://bootyband.com/
Tour dates this weekend chucktown, next weekend greenville, nye asheville

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWgYdeBdTdg&feature=related

bounce music outta asheville

more to come following wknd show





some more good tunes on the website, just click on the above link and wait for it

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

rick james

the king of funk?

http://www.rickjames.com/


click here to go to video because you tube video is requested not to be embedded
I also request not to be embedded with these choice ladies.

Diggy Dig

So Stew posted the Blakroc preview below, and the album is pretty sick, particularly songs featuring the angriest rapper on earth, Billy Danze from MOP (see MOP Classic below)


But since I'm "the Wildcard" which is just totally sweet and exactly what I'm looking for as a description in life, here's a far stretch for ya. I bring you Diggy Simmons, the son of Rev Run (Joe Simmons) of Run DMC. Considering 'Tricky' is one of the greatest songs ever, and I mean ever, you figure the kid of Rev Run must have some talent right? Well, in my opinion, the little guy actually ain't all that bad. Why this is relevant to the music world I do not know, but enjoy, it's a Saturday and I'm still drunk from last night.





Wednesday, November 25, 2009

lmfao & crystal method guest appearance

I had a couple of friends come over, LMFAO and Crystal Method. This is one of the jams they
rocked and I figured I would share mid week since I missed this past Saturday's post. Steve Prochnow and I were too busy shooting guns, eating bbq and drinking beers. WOoo.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Blakroc

It's out Friday...

Williams Family Tradition

NASHVILLE, TN --

The Williams family changed music in the Music City forever starting with Hank Sr. in the late 1940's. Hank's tumultuous career was brief, but changed a budding country music genre.





Hank Jr., subject to more than his fair share of teasing from folks like me, also had a rather interesting career. He started out as somewhat of a Grand Ole Opry novelty at an early age. He eventually became a mainstream country act with classics about why he smokes, drinks, and what his goals are when doing so (to get laid!)






Hank III joined the family music biz back in the early 90's as a way to 'pay child support' and his career blossomed from there. He still carries on that country rebel tradition that is missing in today's typical country music scene. Check out Hank III's thoughts on pop country in 'Dick in Dixie'





You pick your favorite Hank ... I've got mine and I'm seeing him TONIGHT in Nashville. Look for a show report tonight, tomorrow or whenever I get around to it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Aquemini

Outkast is amazing (who knew?).



It has taken me far too long to delve into the back catalogue. Aquemini is some serious shit. Creative and articulate. Shootin' game in the form of story raps. Laid back. So chill. Never boring. I shed a tear that I wasn't more intimately acquainted with this album back in my Haight-Ashbury dayz. Sure, we've heard Rosa Parks, but damn, damn, damn, damn.

Intriguing Characters: Big Boi, 'Dre, Sasha Thumper, Hollywood Cole.

Note-worthy quotes: "Slashed-up!"

On a personal note, I recently touched down in MPLS for the bachelor party of the amigo Nasty Neil. Somewhere in the poetic debauchery of Spottieottiedopalicious lies an accurate description of the evening. Go'on and marinate on that for a minute.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Music History Lesson

I don't know how better to describe this video so I'm taking the youtube explanation of it:

This fascinating, brilliant 20-minute video narrates the history of the "Amen Break," a six-second drum sample from the b-side of a chart-topping single from 1969. This sample was used extensively in early hiphop and sample-based music, and became the basis for drum-and-bass and jungle music -- a six-second clip that spawned several entire subcultures. Nate Harrison's 2004 video is a meditation on the ownership of culture, the nature of art and creativity, and the history of a remarkable music clip.

Them Crooked Vultures

What's a good way to vent a little frustration while you wait out a flight delay in a random airport (other than alcohol)? How about blasting some Them Crooked Vultures?

In case you've been missing out, Them Crooked Vultures is a supergroup comprised of Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters and Nirvana, and John Paul Jones of Led Fucking Zeppelin. Their debut self-titled release is one of the most anticipated albums of the year. It lives up to the hype the internet has bestowed upon it.

I read a few articles that said it appeared that Homme had lucked into this gig. After listening to this album, I disagree. His fingerprints are all over this disc in the form of the druggy, heavy sound that Queens of the Stone Age is known for. But the beautiful thing about a trio is that you can hear everyone with glorious clarity. Grohl pounds the skins like it's 1992, and Jones kicks out some truly dirty bass riffs and adds some nice keyboard flourishes to boot. Check out the tracks below and pick up the album here if you dig.

No One Loves Me and Neither Do I
New Fang
Scumbag Blues

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fall Be Kind

This doesn't drop until Monday (digitally) and December 15th on CD, but it leaked yesterday and I have to share it with you guys. Animal Collective are like a fine wine and seem to be getting better with age.

This is composed of five songs that didn't make the cut on Merriweather Post Pavilion. That's not to imply the quality of them is worse, which can be disproven upon one listen. In my opinion these songs are just as good and even better. Take a listen:


EDIT: I forgot there are some Dead Heads on here. Track 2 ("What Would I Want? Sky") has the first licensed Dead sample from "Unchained Melody." The band collaborated with Phil Lesh and he dug what they were doing so gave it the go ahead:




Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Antlers

The Antlers

I’ll step out of my normal realm this week and offer something for all you post-rockers out there…for all I know you’ve already heard of these guys, but what I’ve heard of them has been pretty good. The Antlers started as the solo project of singer and guitarist Peter Silberman. Silberman crafted the Antlers first album, “In the Attic of the Universe”, during a time when he isolated himself from family and friends (It seems that’s the thing to do these days in music). Fellow crew members Mike Lerner, Darby Cicci, and Justin Stivers joined the group shortly thereafter. The bands second album “Hospice” was released in March of 2009 and has been an overwhelming success. With that, you know just as much about them as I do….

Enjoy,
Ben

Monday, November 16, 2009

Loudness

this is just completely ridiculous and awesome and loud and awesome and awesome. sorry to butt in, just had to throw it up on the site.

Ferry Corsten

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS --

Ferry Corsten is one of the trance originals, and he's still busting it out. I rock out just about daily to a live DJ set from the Winter Music Conference, which is held in Miami, FL in conjunction with the Ultra Music Festival each spring. Information on the UMF can be found here: http://www.ultramusicfestival.com/

I'll be in attendance in 2010, so expect a full review of the events. Hoping to see Ferry, as the lineup this year hasn't been announced yet.










From Wikipedia:



Ferry Corsten, also known under the alias System F, (born December 4, 1973 in Rotterdam, Netherlands) is a producer of trance music, in addition to being a DJ and remixer.

1989–1999: Early years

Ferry Corsten produced and remixed under many aliases since the release of his first record at the age of sixteen,[1] but he officially started to work as a musician when he was 27 years old. As a teenager he would listen to his father's record player and he would save money to buy his first keyboard by washing cars, and selling mixed tapes to kids in his neighborhood. He later began to perform live performances with a friend and won his first award "De Grote Prijs van Nederland" at Holland in 1989.[2] He eventually released a record with a couple of friends when he was just sixteen years old and later began releasing self-made productions while he grew up in Rotterdam in the 1990s, producing underground hardcore gabber tracks, later expanding into club-house and trance music. His first single to reach a chart position was "Don't Be Afraid" under the alias Moonman, which was only the start for becoming a composer as well. In 1997 Corsten and his partner Robert Smit established a dance label named Tsunami with the Dutch based dance company Purple Eye Entertainment b.v., this junction made the creation of another label possible; Polar State.[3] Ferry Corsten was studying to become an Electrical Engineer, so he went to the Technical Training School and after that Higher Technical Education.[4]
[edit] 1999–2002: Rise to fame
Main article: Gouryella

In February 1999 Corsten's second solo project, System F, was released on the Tsunami imprint along with the album Out of the Blue, including the same-named melodic tune that became a hit on dance floors all over the world, achieving a top twenty position in the United Kingdom single chart. The follow up single was "Cry", produced together with Robert Smit which reached the UK Top 20.[5]

His growing popularity in the late 1990s led to cooperation with many famous trance DJs and musicians like DJ Tiƫsto (Gouryella, Vimana), Vincent de Moor (Veracocha), and Robert Smit (Starparty). The track "Gouryella" by the act Gouryella was released in May, the single entered the UK Singles Top 75 at number fifteen and achieved various hit positions throughout the world. The next single was entitled "Walhalla" which entered the UK single chart at number twenty-seven. In 1999 Ferry was elected as producer of the year at the Ericsson Muzik Award in London.[6] In September 2000 the third Gouryella single entitled "Tenshi" was released. In 2000, Corsten also remixed William Orbit's "Adagio for Strings" as well as "New Year's Day" for U2. His remix of Barber's "Adagio For Strings" was awarded at the Dancestar 2000 awards. The Ministry of Sound dance compilation series entitled Trance Nation became one of the best selling dance compilations in the UK and was awarded the platinum status.[7] In 2000 in his home country Corsten got awarded the Silver Harp award for his numerous outstanding contributions made to Dutch dance music.[citation needed]

In 2001 Ferry contributed to remix projects of tracks by Japanese superstar Ayumi Hamasaki. He went on to compose and arrange her heavily trance-based song "Connected," which was released in 2003, along with remixes, as a single in Germany which has sold 4 million copies to date, making this Ferry's most successful song to date.[8]

Ferry Corsten is the electronic dance music artist with the highest amount of dance singles in the UK charts[citation needed]. He currently[when?] has 10 gold singles, between those his 1999 remix of "Madagascar", "Out of the Blue" as his alias System F, both "Gouryella" and "Walhalla" in 2000, "Cry" and the "Dance Valley Theme" in 2001 with "Exhale" which is his latest as System F with Armin van Buuren; and his 2003-2004 singles "Punk" and "Rock Your Body Rock".[citation needed]

In 2004 he launched his first album as Ferry Corsten, Right of Way, in Heineken Musical Hall with 4,500 clubbers at his eight-hour set.[9] The music video of the song was nominated in the TMF Dutch MTV Awards in Netherlands. The album spawned three singles, "Punk" (UK #29), "Rock Your Body, Rock" (UK #11), and "It's Time" (UK #51).

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Aidonia

this jam was discovered last night @ 4:30 am during a garage rock out session after downtown action.

Bush Caaash

We were listening to Buju Banton radio on last fm which is highly recommended also.

last fm link

Here is the clip of the song, heavy beat. (does not sound good just coming from standard laptop speakers)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Welcome to Daytrotter


I've got a lot going on right now, so I'm gonna take the easy route and send you to a different website that everyone who enjoys this blog should dig. Daytrotter is a website/music studio that records brief live sets from all sorts of up and coming artists and releases the results for free. You can stream the songs or download the mp3's.

The website produces a lot of content. How they get all these bands to play for them and more importantly how they get so many bands to visit Rock Island, Illinois (look it up) is beyond me. But we get to reap the benefits. The website also includes nice drawings of the performers and extremely pretentious (there's that word again) writeups about the music. Who could ask for more?

I highly recommend checking out the "top sessions" section featuring the likes of Fleet Foxes, Spoon, Andrew Bird and other well-known artists. But the best thing about the website is how many random bands you've never heard of get featured. Dig around a little and I'm sure you'll find some exciting new stuff. Check out Lucero below.



http://www.daytrotter.com/

Stew

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tommy Guerrero

It's absolutely incredible I haven't blogged about this guy yet


Ok, so this is Mr. Guerrero, in my opinion, a younger version of the most interesting man in the world. Former professional skateboarder turned professional musician, and the best part? Now professional skateboarders skate to HIS music - talk about full circle.

But his music. Yes. That's why we're here. It's dope. A lotta drums. Stellar guitar riffs. A little latin spice in places. Check out a couple of his newer jams below, as well as a phenomenal album of his from 06 (be sure to listen to Tomorrow's Goodbye, The Underdog, and Dont Fake It):







---ALSO---

Stumbled upon this earlier this week. If you like drums, you undoubtedly like this guy. And if you like this guy, you're gonna dig this:

John Bonham Unused Drum Takes

Dope.

Happy Thurs, and muck fichigan.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Flatt and Scruggs

NASHVILLE, TN -- A weekend trip to the Country Music Hall of Fame this past weekend rekindled my love of bluegrass. A little too much attention for the Elvises and the Dollys of the world, and too little attention for the pioneers in the hall in my opinion, but I did manage to locate some good old toe tappin' grass.





Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs met as members of Bill Monroe's band, the Blue Grass Boys, in 1946. The two left that band early in 1948, and within a few months had formed their own group, the Foggy Mountain Boys. Scruggs' banjo style and Flatt's rhythm guitar style as well as his vocals gave them a distinctive sound that won them many fans. In 1955 they became members of the Grand Ole Opry.

Scruggs, who had always shown progressive tendencies, experimented on duets with saxophonist King Curtis and added songs by the likes of Bob Dylan to the group's repertoire. Flatt, a traditionalist, did not like these changes, and the group broke up in 1969. Following the breakup, Lester Flatt founded the Nashville Grass and Scruggs lead the Earl Scruggs Revue. Flatt died in 1979 at the age of 64. Scruggs still performs occasionally, as his health permits. Flatt and Scruggs were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985.



In 2003, they ranked #24 on CMT's 40 Greatest Men of Country Music, one of only four non-solo artists to make the list (Eagles, Alabama, and Brooks & Dunn are the others).

In the film O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the band formed by the heroes is called the "Soggy Bottom Boys" as a tribute to the band.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Soul Position



RJD2 is a good producer. Blueprint is a good emcee. Together they make a great duo known as Soul Position. Lush beats and thoughtful rhymes are the order of the day. At times, Blueprint can be rather dramatic (I agree with Allmusic on this point). It's all good though. There's more than enough here to keep me interested through two full length albums. Soul Position provide polished, modern hip-hop. That's all I ever wanted. So here's to rockin' out in the car, plane, or train on the way home from work. Til next time...closed circuit to (faithful TSAD follower) Dr. Dre: Where the fuck is Detox? Perhaps next week I'll do some research to determine the status of that release.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tenacious D

Here is something I had forgotten about until Steve K said the words pretentious post.

The joy of creating music and laughter with the resources around you.

Similar to what we have achieved with top shelf.

I hope you enjoy this amazing display of saxamaboom.



Do not try at home.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Who is Davye Hawk?


Allow me to keep the obscure but awesome music trend going on TSAD. Whether he's releasing tunes as Weird Tapes, Memory Cassette, or Memory Tapes, Davye Hawk of Philly (or is it south Jersey?) appears to be a pretty prolific guy. Perhaps that's because he doesn't play any shows and no one seems to be really sure who he is. In any case, it's working out for him.

I'm not gonna lie, this music feeds my electro-pop needs as well as anything going right now. The release that really stands out is Seek Magic, released by Mr. Hawk as Memory Tapes. This album grows on you big time. It's short, only eight tracks, but each cut is painstakingly crafted into a beautiful montage of different sounds and grooves. The songs tend to be more ambient than, say, Miike Snow or Passion Pit, with less words and more stretching out. Dig the vocal outro on Bicycle and the sneakers-on-hardwood beat on Green Knight (reminiscent of, but more subtle than the bed creaking beat on Some Cut by Trillville). This is some of my favorite stuff of the year.

Since Davye is such a generous guy, a lot of his work is available free online, which is why I'm able to share several songs with you below. If you like what you hear, be sure to check out his blog We're Tapes. Lots more downloads are available there, and you can buy stuff too.

Off of Seek Magic:
Bicycle
Green Knight
Plain Material

Weird Tapes:
Nightstalking

Memory Cassette:
Ghost in the Boombox


Damn that's a lot of great music on a Friday. Maybe someday I can be a stay at home dad like Davye. Enjoy.

Stew

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thavius Beck

Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes

Get down on these fresh new tunes for this crisp thursday.







Want to know more about this dude? Sure you do. click it here. Also, check him out on the youtubes.

Enjoy.
Thanks Neil.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Tallest Man on Earth

The Tallest Man On Earth



It’s good to be back helping you over your musical hump. I’ve been saving up this week’s musician for the re-release of daily posting; he’s that good. I came across “The Tallest Man on Earth” a while back, and at the time I found next to no information on him. In recent searches it seems that his music has become increasingly available although information on him is by no means widespread.

“The Tallest Man on Earth” is the moniker belonging to Swedish folk musician Kristian Mattson. Mattson hails from Dalurna, Sweeden. I hate to use the Bob Dylan comparison as it is something that is certainly thrown around way too much these days (lets face it there is and only will be one Bob Dylan). With that, if anyone that I’ve heard deserves the compliment of the comparison, it’s Mattson. The combination of his high pitched unpolished voice, finger-picking prowess, and seemingly effortless storytelling certainly beg the comparison. That being said, Mattson’s music has a uniqueness and charm all its own.


Mattson’s first release was a five song EP back in 2007. His first full length album, Shallow Grave, was released last year with critical acclaim. The album is unpolished and absolutely wonderful; worth picking up. Mattson spent some time touring in the States last year (with the likes of John Vanderslice and Bon Iver ). In a world filled with guys with a guitar Mattson separates himself as one of the best and I’m confident we’ll be hearing from him for years to come.

Enjoy, Ben.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Niacin

Take Your Vitamins Aurally

According to Wikipedia, vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is the timbral foundation of the Hammond B3 organ. I didn't know that before today and I'm too lazy to look up why that's true. All I know is that the members of this vitamin's musical namesake have chops that would make Hugo Weidel proud.

Before you read any further, and in the interest of full disclosure, I feel obliged to admit that Niacin's music is full on, prog rock wankery at its finest. I was raised from an early age on my dad's Emerson, Lake and Palmer collection and am still blown away by Keith Emerson's keyboard skills. This fact easily explains my recent fascination with the works of Niacin.

The similarities are there. They're a power trio consisting of a drummer (Dennis Chambers), bassist (Billy Sheehan) and lead (yes, lead) keyboard player (John Novello). That Emerson-esque Hammond sound is prevalent throughout and, most of all, the music critics' favorite prog rock descriptors like "pompous" and "bombastic" apply in full.

But that, folks, is why I like it. So have a listen.

Barbarian @ the Gate
Elbow Grease

Both of these are opening tracks for the albums "Organik" and "Time Crunch" respectively. Now if those song and album titles don't scream "progressive neo-fusion" then nothing ever will.

But seriously, the technique and instrumental proficiency are there in spades and that, at least for me, makes up for any lack of "soul" this music may have. For greatest effectiveness, shift your focus from the ridiculous keyboard playing to the background bass lines. Do you hear that? I know right?!

And so, I've made my case. If you want more, you can check out these Niacin albums and more on lala.com.

Would these guys lead you astray?




Saturday, October 31, 2009

on that purp

Happy Halloween!



in case you miss Outkast click here

but really with the kryptonite song aside, watch this embedment.

diesel power


that was a blaisdale pic

Friday, October 30, 2009

WOLFMOTHER RETURNS

Aussie retro stomp monster Andrew Stockdale returns with dazzling second LP Cosmic Egg

First, here's a very high quality video of first album Wolfmother goodness with gratuitous Jackass appearances to whet your whistle:


If Black Sabbath reunited and made an album tomorrow, the result would be Wolfmother's first album. The monster riffs, plodding style, high pitched vocals, and dramatic imagery reminded everyone of Sabbath and Zeppelin, and that is most definitely a good thing.

After the first album things got a little difficult. Stockdale (guitar/vocals/the whole reason to listen) kicked the drummer and bassist, which is to say everyone else, out of the band, recruiting some new blood in the form of Ian Peres, Aidan Nemeth, and Dave Atkins.

Cosmic Egg, Wolfmother's new album, is a little bit less of an anachronism than their first effort. Something about the sound and feel of this album, together with the presence of an additional guitarist, seems more modern. The riffs continue to kick ass, and the songwriting is stronger than before. It's another glorious example of heavy metal as it was at the beginning. Check it out.

Wolfmother - Cosmic Egg
Wolfmother - New Moon Rising (Live on Conan)

Wolfmother on Amazon
P.S. If you pick up Cosmic Egg, I highly recommend the Deluxe version. Four more tracks means 20 more minutes of rocking.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Phoenix - 1901



My current obsession. I really should have seen these guys in concert when I was out in San Francisco. Check out that drummer!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Part II



With the 5th Pick in the Chapelle's Show Racial Draft "The Asian delegation choose the RZA, the GZA, U God, Inspectah Deck, and Ghostface Killa....the Wu-Tang Clan!"

Possibly the best skit ever. Possibly the best Rappers ever. Wu-Tang is back under the leadership of Raekwon the Chef. The album is titled Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Part II. By the way, Part 1 (1995) is sensational. Here, production is provided by the RZA and Dr. Dre. For Wu-Tang purposes, I'm partial to the RZA beats. If you're acquainted with Dre, there's one song in particular that has his fingerprints all over it. I challenge you to find it. The album as a whole is classic Wu. We've got out-of-control imagery, "the ruggedest beats", and nightmarish hood scenarios. I've given up on attempting to determine the extent to which any rapper actually lives that life. The great thing about Wu-Tang is that the narrative is so immersive that you don't even care. Raekwon is a great rapper, the crew remains rock solid. Just listen...
Konichiwa, Bitches.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dinosaur Jr. - Farm

Guitar Heroics Anyone?
Dinosaur Jr. are old school. The band released their first album in 1985, foreshadowing the grunge phenomenon, and their most successful and critically acclaimed albums were released between 1987 and 1991. But to be honest I had never listened to them until this album came out. They took a ten year break before releasing Beyond in 2007 and Farm this year. Thank God they came back.

To put it simply, this album features the best guitar work I've heard all year. If you're looking for some face melting solos to brighten your day and get your head nodding, look no further. The songs aren't bad either. Actually, they're quite good. Definitely grungy and heavy, with lyrics that support that style. And they're on tour. Apparently they already played the Vic here in Chicago, and I was sad to hear it. But hey, now I know. And my music library is the better for it. Check out the tracks below, and if you like what you hear, pick up their disc. It's worth the purchase just to hear I Don't Want to Go There.

Dinosaur Jr. - I Want You to Know
Dinosaur Jr. - Ocean in the Way
Dinosaur Jr. - Said the People

Dinosaur Jr. on Amazon