Beck used 2002′s Sea Change to awaken the masses to his incredible eye for sentimental detail. Before that I’d always questioned his motives. I wasn’t sure if he was a wayward Beastie Boy, or some fragile Neil Young disciple; vulnerable enough to shake and rattle, but tough enough to order one more drink before last call.
Morning Phase is Beck’s call to arms. There’s a familiar rage running throughout the record begging you to sort out the joys and pains of every day life. It’s a Sunday afternoon gaze across a gasoline sunset you’ve come to know and love. Welcome to the age of understanding, and it sounds pretty grown up.
“Diablo”, the newest offering from Mac Miller, is a clever lo-fi affair complete with a sample from Duke Ellington and John Coltrane’s “In A Sentimental Mood”. Miller produced “Diablo” under his Larry Fisherman pseudonym. The track makes use of the sparse, indie vibes left over from his last outing, Watching Movies With The Sound Off. I dig it. No word on what’s next from Miller, but this one is dope.
Fortunate kids get keys to their own whip at age 16. Some get a job from a family member after graduation to help them jump start life. J. Cole got his own imprint on his 29th birthday through a joint venture between Roc Nation and Interscope Records. Cole will now have the chance to break his very own Dreamville team to the mainstream one project at a time.
Bas, Omen, and KQuick join Cole as the core of the Dreamville camp. Instantly looking to make moves, their debut mixtape was launched this week on a brand new site, free of charge. Bas comes with the heavy narrative flow akin to that of Cole and looks like a mini-Rozay, while Omen is more withdrawn, rapping inward like Ab-Soul. “Lit” is in the running for my favorite song of the year, and it’s only February.
Click the link above for a download of Revenge Of The Dreamers. Enjoy.
Amerigo Gazaway is at it again. The mastermind behind legendary “mashup” tapes Fela Soul and Bizarre Tribe is readying his next series entitled Soul Mates, and the first installment is a fucking gem. “Inner City Travellin’ Man” is the first single from Yasiin Gaye which features raps from Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) and the classic soul of Marvin Gaye vocals and arrangements.
Gazaway is re-imagining Gaye’s timeless hits, reprogramming the classics with subtle shifts in the landscape, peppered with Bey’s unmistakeable prowess on the mic. This is pure production mastery. Enjoy the first taste, and grab the full record on February 25th.
Misery breeds company, and if you’re from Syracuse, New York you stand behind that ethos. Ironically, those grey cities harvest some of the most live wire acts in rock in roll. Take Perfect Pussy for example. They’re a noise-punk band from Cuse who employ crushing distortion and a wild live show to demand your attention. I’m all ears.
Excuse me while I crush on front woman Meredith Graves. Her wide-eyed take on life and love is washed in a shit storm of racket. Their four song EP kicks off with a few seconds of bent strings, then rips the walls down. The tracks are titled with puzzlingly simple Roman numerals, and never let up. Perfect Pussy’s debut, Say Yes To Love, is scheduled for a March 18 release. The best new band in the business is officially on the radar.
If you asked an indie music nerd in his or her 20′s to name a classic record of their time you’d get hit with titles from bands like The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, and Vampire Weekend. Can’t knock that list. New York (and a handful of Brits) did happen to re-define rock and roll in the early 2000′s by aping what we already knew was cool.
Enter Drowners, a NYC four-piece who let their influence flags fly on their self-titled debut. Drowners write music directly unearthed from the garage rock revival time capsule of 2001. Only a handful of bands remain from that wave because we can only take so much bratty, tongue-in-cheek, New York apathy before we call bullshit. But not so fast…
They are polished and take painstaking pride in doing their job, but also drink enough to stagger and lean in the direction of The Smiths. Unlike their contemporary colleagues, Drowners wallow in their cool rather than constantly celebrate it. Give the debut a spin if you’re looking for a half-hour escape into the world of the New York hipster elite. I bet they look good on the dance floor.
The shoe game has become a market of rabid consumers the past few years. I’d say “hypebeasts”, but I don’t know what the fuck that actually means. Truth is, it’s hard as hell to get a pair of exclusive kicks these days without putting your luck in a lottery/ticket system, or spending big bucks on ebay or sneaker sell/trade sites like Kixify or Flight Club. Regardless of availability, here are a few of my favorites recent releases.
Jordan Retro 5- Fear: This one was completely slept on, and even though it was released this past summer, I’m still including it here. It was the cheapest shoe of the “Fear Pack”, and now the one selling for $500-$700 on ebay. The distressed, scuffed suede and 3m tongue make these stand out. There’s red speckling on the mid-sole, and it fades from black to olive green. Looks subtle, but it’s amazing in person. Really tough to get these now, unless you want to fork over major bread.
Jordan 10- Cool Grey/Infrared: I have never blinked an eye at a pair of 10′s until I had these in my hands at House Of Hoops. The grey/black mix and hits of red on the sole look great, super comfortable on feet too. Not a tremendously hard pair to grab, but dope nonetheless. These retail for $180.
Melo M10-BHM: The Black History Month Lebron 9 was my first pair of “collectible” kicks. Since then, I’ve anticipated the release of the BHM collection every February. The designs are always unique, and super limited. This year’s winner is the Melo M10. Crazy mix of black, grey, and purple. And yes, the heel is gold and reads “Melo” in script. I have an extra pair in size 10 if anyone is interested.
I’ll do another Lace Up in a month or two to let you know what’s on my feet. And remember, rock what you like, not what the internet tells you.