Friday, April 30, 2010

Alice in Chains

A comeback in 2009 and a classic from 1996

Alice in Chains returned to the music scene in 2009 with Black Gives Way to Blue. Obviously the loss of lead singer Layne Staley in 2002 changed the dynamic of the band forever, but there's no question that this album represents a strong return to form. William DuVall gives a great Staley impression and everything sounds like it's straight outta the early '90s. It's a little front heavy, but so is damn near every album these days. Put your grunge hat on:

Check My Brain
Acid Bubble

Now I couldn't possibly talk about Alice in Chains without mentioning one of my all-time favorites releases, 1996's MTV Unplugged live album. Consistently dismissed by critics, I consider this to be one of the three best MTV Unplugged performances ever, along with Eric Clapton and Jay-Z.

Who would have guessed Alice in Chains would work so well in an acoustic set? They hadn't performed live in three years when they did this show, Layne is clearly a drug addicted mess, and yet they still kill it. Every note. You can watch a couple of highlights below. This version of Got Me Wrong is one of my favorite songs, period.


Got Me Wrong

On the eve of May, which I am hereby dubbing ROCK MONTH, there's nothing like a little alt-rock nostalgia on a stormy Friday night.


P.S. Enjoy those Lala links. My favorite music site dies on May 31st. Let's all pray for an iTunes equivalent sooner rather than later.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hell Yes

I can't even handle it. I haven't been this excited since Mos Dub two weeks ago. This is Beck's Gameboy Variations disc released in 2005. Yes, I'm 5 years late. No, I don't care. And no, neither will you. Put your headphones in and take in these two awesome tracks (note: these two videos aren't the greatest sound quality, I HIGHLY recommend you go here and buy this album for all of 2.99, that is all):

Ghettochip Malfunction:

Bit Rate Variations in B-Flat:

Also this week I stumbled across Brooklyn-based producer (who remains anonymous) Cloud. He's got a sweet spacey style to his beats, and the result is excellent working music. You can download two of his discs for free on his myspace blog page.

Here are two of his tracks back to back:

Oh, and one more thing, this Sunday night, if you're in Chicago, head to the Elbo Room at 10:30 - Shinobi Ninja live and in the flesh. It's gonna be awesome. Sunday. Funday. See you there.

Hell Yes.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Frederic Chopin, 1810-1849. Nocturnes highly recommended for relaxation, meditation, and slumber.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Band of Skulls

She grew up in a nice neighborhood...

I love minimalist rock. The White Stripes, The Kills, The Black Keys, these sorts of bands are where it's at for me. Enter Band of Skulls, a rockin three piece act whose debut album, Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, dropped last year.

Boasting a simple rock sensibility and a girl who can sing while playing a solid bass, this band goes a little ways beyond their minimalist counterparts by incorporating vocal harmonies and a little bit of '60s pop smoothness into their songs without losing that blues rock stomp. The first track below, Death by Diamonds and Pearls, is exactly what I'm looking for in a rock song: simple, nasty guitar riff, angry but sexy lyrics, and a noisy, dissonant guitar solo to top things off. As close to perfect as rock gets today, this track would have definitely made my top ten songs of 2009 if I had known about it. It also happens to be the second track on the album (more on that some other time).

The rest of the album moves from heavy rock stomp (Patterns) to more mellow fare (Honest). The album closer Cold Fame is a standout. Overall, the album doesn't quite maintain the momentum generated by track two, but it's a solid effort and a fine example of the elusive rock music that I am searching for.

Death By Diamonds and Pearls
Cold Fame
Death By Diamonds and Pearls - Live


Buy the album if you dig


Thursday, April 22, 2010

New LCD Soundsystem

So while everyone's been digging the song 'drunk girls' on LCD's newest disc 'This is Happening,' I'm just not one of them. This song however, is a fuckin dance party:

It's long, but it's worth it. Stick with it.

In joy.

Also, an update to a previous post. Delorean's album 'Subiza' came out this week. I've got the digital copy, and it's awesome. Pick it up, and if you happen to be at Pitchfork's festival Saturday July 17th, dont miss these guys live.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Blues Roots of the Grateful Dead

The roots of the Grateful Dead run deep into the history of music. Several genres inspired the development of their material and style, with this post focused specifically on the blues influences that turned into songs that were frequently performed live by the Grateful Dead. Most of the traditional blues songs were performed by Pigpen prior to his passing in the early 1970s. Pigpen was the first of several Grateful Dead keyboardists to experience untimely deaths, and he was one of the original members of the band. After his death, Bob Weir did his part to carry the torch, but couldn't totally match Pigpen's chops.

Otis Redding - Hard To Handle

Howlin' Wolf - Smokestack Lightning

Jimmy Reed - Big Boss Man

Mississippi Sheiks - Sitting on Top of the World

No GD post would be complete without the boys themselves, so here is a showcase of Pigpen's blues vocals on 'Hard to Handle.' This clip is an excellent video from a GD concert in 1970.

Pigpen's grave marker in Palo Alto is inscribed:


Friday, April 16, 2010

Where has all the real Rock gone?

Rock and roll used to be dangerous and unpredictable. "Lock up your daughters, Mick Jagger/Iggy Pop/Bon Scott/Jim Morrison is coming to town!" You won't hear anyone saying that about Nickleback. Rock radio is filled with utter trash that all sounds like Trapt or Seether. And I'm not talking about metal here. Metal has its place, but it's not what really gets me going. There is tons of good music being made; very little of it could be classified at real, raw, powerful rock and roll.

But fear not readers of TSAD! I've got some great stuff for you. Over the next few weeks I'll be dropping some serious rock on all of you in anticipation of three album releases in May from some of the best rockers we've got (The Black Keys, The Hold Steady, and The Dead Weather, all in May!). Click those links, there's new tunes to be had at each band's website. A little supergroup known as Them Crooked Vultures will also be on tour at the same time. Suddenly it doesn't look like such a bad time to be a rocker.

So let's begin with the anointed royalty of mainstream rock: The White Stripes. Sadly the Stripes haven't been heard from since 2007 when Meg suffered some sort of severe anxiety attack forcing the band to cancel their tour, and that was it. For now. Luckily for us, the band recently released a live album, DVD, and box set entitled Under Great White Northern Lights. The material is a compilation of their Canadian tour from 2007, which included visits to every province and territory in the country with some fascinating little afternoon sets along the way.

I considered posting a select few songs from the live album, but after much thought I just had to post the whole thing below. If you haven't listened to The White Stripes live before, prepare yourself. They don't use a set list, and this stuff is raw, heavy, and downright hard. Jack White's passion onstage is second to none, and the result is an absolutely stunning album. The set showcases both recent tracks (I'm Slowly Turning Into You, Icky Thump) as well as longtime concert staples (Jolene, The Union Forever, Ball and Biscuit). Here's a high quality video to get you started:

Here's the album. Under no circumstances should you miss I'm Slowly Turning Into You or Seven Nation Army. Fell In Love With A Girl is also re-imagined in a slower, excellent form.

Buy this album, and if you really love the band, pick up the DVD. It's one of the best tour/documentary music DVDs I've seen. Here's to rocking our faces off for the next couple months!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mos Dub

I'm just going to go ahead and say it, this is the best thing I've heard, maybe all year. Mos Dub is Max Tannone's latest production, pairing classic Mos Def with bumpin reggae. Mos Def should rap over this from here on out.

Hear for yourself below, and download it for free here. Move quick on this (that Wait What - Notorious XX album I posted 2 weeks ago is already gone and off the internet), and if you only listen to one song, listen to Ms. Vampire Booty, it's a killer track.

In joy.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Laid Back Trance Tracks ...

jazzy trancey jam to get you through your day ...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Corniest Sports Montage Songs of All Time

Get your tissue box ready. I was overcome with emotion soon after conceiving of this post. If you've never heard the words to the Masters theme, it really is off the charts.

Dave Loggins vs. Luther Vandross vs. Survivor. Cast your vote NOW!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Qball Lives

I posted some stuff about Qball Lives a couple weeks ago but the tracks didn't work out the way I wanted, so here's round two.

Show some love to my man Cheeks, working hard to make the world safe for white suburban rappers from the Midwest. Here are some words from the artist:

Allow a brother to summarize; I recently decided to hire a producer so i could record all this funky shit that comes to my head. I'm planning on putting together a small mixtape/EP until I empty out my writing archives. Being the friends and fellow hip-hop supporters that you are, I figured I would drop a couple joints your way a bit early so u can hear what I've been up to. Because of the great feedback so far, I plan on making this project "CD case and insert" worthy. Not sure when this will touch your paws but I suppose not until this time-consuming little hobby finally produces a solid product. Download this shit to your iTunes' playlist and take a serious listen... more than once I recommend! "MidWestCoast" highlights my near-future move to San Diego. "Make Love to Break Up" is a story about relationships (or lack there of). Prepare to board the Dope-Shit Express:) Good Looking out.


Qball Lives by Stew C

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Miike Snow + Delorean @Metro 4/4

photo by Erica Gannett

Nothing like an Easter Sunday filled with dance electronica and lasers. The Miike Snow show did not disappoint. They came on stage amid blue spotlights and smoke wearing white masks and proceeded to play some heavy electronica. It was bitchin. Unfortunately, all the youtube videos taken at the show are of poor quality - mostly because the bass and dancing. Below is their song Plastic Jungle:

But Miike Snow has been blogged about before on TSAD, in fact, their song Black & Blue made our TSAD Year One mixtape. However, this concert also featured the best opener I've (perhaps) ever seen - Delorean. They hail from Barcelona, and in fact, their genre is described as Barca-beat. They sounded awesome, and opened with their song Seasun which was even better live than on their disc. They had tons of energy and definitely complimented Miike Snow perfectly. Also, their album Subiza will be released in June, however, via their label Matador Records, you can preorder the CD and get a free (immediate) mp3 copy of the disc. sweet.

Check em out:

In Joy

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Danny Gatton

Danny Gatton was born in Washington D.C. in 1945. He started his musical career as a teenager and began to attract attention soon afterwards. Gatton made a name for himself as a guitar player in the greater D.C. area during the 80's with his "redneck jazz explosion", where Gatton would trade licks with Buddy Emmons, an excellent pedal steel guitar plater. Their music was a combination of country, rock-a-billy, blues, and jazz.

Known by some as "the Telemaster" (a combination of the Fender Telecaster, Gatton's guitar of choice, and "Master"). He was also called "the world's greatest unknown guitarist". His most common nickname however was "The Humbler". The following video will show you how he earned these names....

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

H-Town Music

Houston, TX --

This song by Drake caught my attention because it was about Houston, and interestingly enough, it sounded like he was rapping fondly about it. No mention of traffic, humidity, or illegals, but only 'f*cking bitches like I'm in Houston.' Strangely, the majority of my time in Houston is spent dealing with the former rather than the latter.

Upon further inspection, Drake is actually the most interesting person I've ever Wikipediaed. Heres why:
- He was born in Canada. Why he made a song about Houston is beyond me
- He was an actor on DeGrassi: The Next Generation. He played a basketball player (shocker) on the series that never quite live up to the original DeGrassi. Doesn't that officially ruin all of your street cred?
- His dad is a Memphis African American and his mom is a Jewish Canadian. Would have loved to have been a fly on the wall for that hook-up
- Drake is apparently good friends with Coach Cal from UK. Coach Cal officially has the strangest group of famous black dudes as friends. Seriously, how does he make these friends? Something about that guy just doesn't sit well with me.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Soundset 2010

Live hip hop in Minnesota on May 30.

Confirmed artists for Soundset 2010 include: Atmosphere, Method Man & Redman, Brother Ali, Hieroglyphics featuring Del The Funky Homosapien, Souls of Mischief, Casual and Pep Love, P.O.S, Murs, Freeway & Jake One, Eyedea & Abilities, Wiz Khalifa, Cage, DJ Rob Swift, Grieves & Budo, 45 King, People Under The Stairs, BK One, DJ Revolution, Dessa, Yelawolf, Fashawn, Themselves, Busdriver, Toki Wright, Solillaquists of Sound, Prof with Rahzwell, Cecil Otter, Dark Time Sunshine, Ernest Rhodes, A.R.M (M.anifest & Krukid), Mike Dreams, I.B.E, Ice Rod, Plain Ole Bill, Mike 2600, Kid Cut Up, DJ Pratt and DJ Anton. Hosted by Peter Parker, Kevin Beacham and DJ Snuggles.

Polish Ambassador

Hot new tracks from The Polish Ambassador

also has an alter ego - "Ample Mammal"

I found him, now I must kill him - digital $7
"My long awaited third full-length album to grace the Earth. The title is startling isn't it? Could this be the last album? Is this the end of Me? Am I really who I say I am? Is this really my website or a clever imposter's? Did you forget about your chicken pot pie in the oven? What other questions should you be asking? There's only one way to find out. Buy this album immediately."

Portal Hopping

Friday, April 2, 2010

Wait What + Friends

A day late, and a blunt short, but here we go. This is Wait What's new mashup, combining The XX with Biggie. It's pretty rad, and definitely worth a listen. Aaaaaand it also gives me an excuse to post this really awesome Sigur Ros and Mobb Deep mashup, as well as my all-time favorite Biggie remix Ratatat style. Enjoy it all. Happy fuckin friday.

Big thanks to Joe for the Wait What tip.


Let's venture into the world of the weird for a minute. iamamiwhoami is an unknown artist who appeared in Pitchfork and Spin's inbox like a baby on a doorstep. She(?) created her own youtube channel as well. The videos have since gone viral and have spawned an online debate over the question: "Who is iamamiwhoami?" The videos are slickly produced and downright creepy. Here are two of the seven videos released to date.

This track is the closest thing to a song you'll find at this point:

If you're intrigued by this, check out the rest of the videos at iamamiwhoami's youtube channel here. The rest of the videos are short and crazy, like the first one.

So who is she? The original rumor was Christina Aguilera, but apparently that has been shot down. The current speculation is that Swedish singer Jonna Lee is the culprit. Don't know who she is? Neither do I, but click her name to learn more. It's good music. If anyone figures out what's going on here let me know.

Thanks Monica for pointing me towards this strangeness.