nearly mint condition.

new zealand’s finest band?  your new favorite band?  the best band you’ve never heard before?  experimentally noisy.  brash punk rock.  a history of destruction and violence onstage.  what’s not to love?  tonight we bring to you, the mint chicks.

2005’s fuck the golden youth is a tremendous record.  it’s ambitious.  it’s sloppy as hell.  it’s so loud it’ll make your head pound.  auckland, new zealand we thank you for this odd gift.   i dare you to find this record and play it from front to back, but don’t say i didn’t warn you.  email me or find me on twitter if you want to hear the record and can’t find it.

click and see for yourself…

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9usjXpIwPCQ

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blacksmith is the movement…

what makes an mc real?  bullet scars?  street credibility?  my answer is simple,  it’s wordplay.  after all, an mc is a poet.  they sling words.  an mc puts punch lines or stories together, captivating us.  if we love it, we listen more.  if it’s garbage, it’s gone as quickly as it came on.

talib kweli has been in my constant rotation of mc’s for nearly a decade.  i anticipate his new records. every once in a while when hiphop gets stale and boring, i expect his talent to restore my faith in the music that changed my life way back in 1993. 

lyrically talib’s newest record gutter rainbows isn’t a drastic departure from his past releases. kweli is still exploring the consciousness of his people and his art form.  but what does vary here is the production.  talib has always gone hardest when killing beats from cincinnati producer hi-tek.  gutter rainbows is sonically all over the map tapping production from a handful of beatmakers, something that might turn some people off.

regardless of the beat selection, kweli is still a master motivator and story-teller.  he’s a breath of fresh air even ten years deep into his career.  click below and check out “cold rain” from the new record gutter rainbows.  i dig the denzel-book of eli vibe.  nice work.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVhJ8v5q1ds

man’s best friend

ladies and gentleman, i introduce to you…larry and his flask.  this oregon based, country-punk band of happy misfits formed in 2003 and hasn’t looked back since.  catching an opening slot for the dropkick murphys certainly helped, but i believe they’re poised to do big things on the strength of their energy and talent alone.

pickin’ banjo’s, strong vocal harmonies and the stand-up bass are just a few of the puzzle pieces.  the flask seem to operate on their willingness to submit to their craft.  each song is performed like it’s the last one they’ll ever play, be it in a tiny club, in a theater or on the curb.  i’m amazed at how much they seem to love what they do. 

i have to admit, i’m drawn to them on the basis of their name alone.  i can’t count the times my friends and i have stayed warm or saved a few bucks passing the flask of brown water from palm to palm.  passion is passion, and these guys got it.  keep your eyes peeled for a show in your town.  there’s no way you wont walk away smiling…with or without the whiskey.

click and check out the flask, live curbside in NYC.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=We2PgYzgpPE

the hype is real.

i was having a typically shitty day about a 2 months ago.  i was speeding through my neighborhood on my way home from work in a state of general apathy when i flicked on faction radio (sirius 28) and caught this aussie dude in the middle of some fantastic rant about his dad, the way of the world, sharks and whatever else was raging between his ears.

i was intrigued.  i ended up sitting in my car, parked in my driveway for a few hours getting familiar with the future of radio.  lets face it, stern ran his course.  opie and anthony…c’mon, really?  jason ellis is the truth. 

 i remember watching the tony hawk gigantic skate tour dvd over and over when i was a teenager, laughing hysterically as this maniac dropped in from a box ten feet above a twenty-foot vert ramp.  he must have fallen on his face 10 times…that maniac is jason ellis.

shout out to ellis, rawdog, mayhem and the rest of the crew.  you make radio fun again.  subscribe to satellite.  it’s a fucking blast.  catch the jason ellis show from 3-7 every day on faction, sirius 28.  RED DRAGONS!

click below to watch pink punch ellis in the face, live on the radio!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMBS5AyrDMo&feature=related

first came the fire…

smoke or fire started playing music in the late 90’s in boston.  back then they called themselves jericho.  but apparently there’s a christian band with the same name, so jericho (the punk band) became jericho RVA for richmond, virginia…the bands new home.

the band changed names to smoke or fire and released a terrific debut album called above the city.  they followed that record with the sinking ship  and now this month’s the speakeasy. 

definitely a fun band.  i can’t decide who they remind me of, but that might be because they sound pretty unique.  maybe a little against me or possibly the loved ones?  what i dig is that even though the music is fast and aggressive, it’s obvious how much they enjoy melody.  subtle political messages, noisy guitars cranked way up, a bit of a snarling lead singer… but somehow it all works.

click and check out “1968” from the speakeasy.  enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwY_Z-oh2og&feature=related

a.k.a STS

sugar tongue slim is from atlanta, georgia.  i first heard him rap on a song with the roots called “hustla”.  i thought he held his own with black thought, who’s one of the most talented rappers on earth.  since that guest spot, STS made waves with a series of mixtapes called demand more.  i’m currently spinning demand more 2 to death.  he also has an EP, sole music, floating around out there.

this kid is funny.  he’s actually funny.  i read an article where he said “there’s a lot of new dudes rapping these days, i’m just better.”  he’s not shitting you.  he’s witty like ludacris, he sounds like b.o.b and flows on and off beat like andre 3000. 

he’s joined forces with black thought, truck north and dice raw to create the money making jam boys.  they’re set to release a mixtape any day now.  STS is my new favorite rapper.

STS is now officially on the radar.  the last rapper who popped up on the glasshouses radar was yelawolf, who was signed by eminem’s shady records last month….big things happening for these young dudes. 

check out “the people”, see what the hype is about.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ube5MIjI5yo

staying power…

social distortion formed before i was born, in 1978.   it’s 2011 and they’re still going strong.  they released hard times and nursery rhymes this week, an album that solidifies the notion that social d has a very significant spot in american rock and roll history.

is it me or does mike ness refuse to age?  his trademark croon is in tact throughout the new record.  the new set varies between hard-charging punk and melodic sing-alongs.  there’s even a little emotion mixed into all that tough-guy swagger.  “bakersfield” is a really gorgeous tune about missing the one you love the most.

i’ve seen social d the last two times they’ve swung through my tiny city, and left each time thankful that i bought a ticket.  they seem to have figured out how to create music over the years that can unite different generations of punk music fans.  i love posting up at a social d show and watching the crowd.  there are soccer dads, math teachers, thirteen year olds with green mohawks…all walks of life.   catch them if you can, it’s money well spent.

check out “machine gun blues” live on kimmel.  up the old punks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Dg3wHfr8Rc