dj hero

gregg gillis, aka girl talk, is a dj from pittsburgh.  let me rephrase that.  girl talk is the best dj in pittsburgh.  in fact, gillis might be the best dj in the world.  deadmaus does his thing.  ztrip is the OG of the mash-up.  clinton sparks is dope.  but girl talk, this dude is unreal.  he puts 20 or 30 samples into a 3 minute track, and never once loses the listener.  there’s no chaos or confusion.  there’s nothing going on but a funky ass dance party.

all praises due to mcquack for dropping girl talk into my lap.  i was sitting at the bar sipping a virgin colada in a flashing neon martini glass nodding my head to what i thought was “cruel summer” by bananarama.  then without skipping a beat rick ross was rhyming over the top.  before i could blink it flipped again and lil’ kim and the lost boyz were killing a jackson five track.  i was hooked.

do yourself a favor.  purchase, download, do what you need to do to get a hold of all day or feed the animals by girl talk.  they are tremendously creative mash-up records.  you will shake your ass….you’ve been warned.

click and check out “this is the remix”…..nothing can save ya.

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

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to new beginnings…

ben gibbard, leader of death cab for cutie, is a story-teller.  he’s the type of songwriter that creates a space for characters to live in and leaves it up to the listener to fill in the blanks.   death cab’s new single, “you are a tourist”, from their upcoming record codes and keys is another of gibbard’s songs that allows you to take it wherever you need to go.

reportedly, codes and keys is supposed to be less guitar driven than the bands previous records, focusing instead on the “electronic” sounds of the seventies.  thank goodness i don’t get the ELO vibe off of this one.  chris walla’s massive production actually leans on the guitars here, which is fine by me. 

i like this new single.  it’s urgent without being obnoxious.  it makes you feel like there’s never a wrong time to shake things up, whether that’s across town or across country.  take it for what it’s worth and expect big things from the new record.  just remember, “if you feel just like a tourist in the city you were born in, then it’s time to go…”.  well said mr. gibbard. 

click and check out “you are a tourist”.  good stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FMTeCXJyhk

sometimes i feel the same

my love for punk rock music truly evolved during college.  in comparison to my peers, i was taking the road less traveled.  i was working full-time, taking five or six classes, living in a studio apartment in the city.  doing things on my own terms and music provided the backbone for that whirlwind time.  it was reckless but it was honest, and completely necessary.

the menzingers straight ahead, lets do our best to figure shit out style of punk was the type of music that kept me getting out of bed each morning back in the day.  hearing them for the first time about a year ago made me reach back to those days and smile. 

i don’t want to cliché it up with a springsteen reference here, but there’s the same sort of effortless, desire in a menzingers track as there is with the e street band.  don’t get me wrong, there not playing the same kind of music whatsoever, but the menzingers force you to feel that struggle through their urgency and emotion.  they play music that comes straight from the gut.  imagine the lawrence arms energy combined with bruce’s working man’s ethic, and you’re starting to get it. 

their second full length chamberlain waits topped lots of punk and indie best-of lists last year…go and get it, you won’t hate me for it.

click and check out the video for “i was born”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36E0tKMKtSo. dig it.

easy, breezy…

every long once in a while a band comes around that is able to translate a mixture of youth, energy and flat-out cool.  the last that comes to mind for me was vampire weekend, and before that the strokes.

smith westerns are my new favorite thing, and with just two albums under their belts, they’re merely scratching the surface.  dye it blonde is a perfectly polished sophomore record.  the melodies are light, the vocals are carefully nonchalant and the guitars are washed in seventies sounding garage-fuzz. 

i have to thank pandora for this one.  i was listening to pavement radio, and the little genome fairy in the computer somehow matched smith westerns to my ears…the rest is history. 

the video for “weekend” is a testament to being young and having a blast.  smoke a cigarette? ok!   lets cruise the mall.  wanna get nachos?  browse the cds?  get a sweet airbrushed jacket with the band name on it? yes!  shot gun a cold can?  im in!  click below and let it ride.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKRRDmug9c4

line em’ up.

have you ever seen the movie roadhouse?  swayze rips a dudes heart out.  seriously.  if you’ve seen it, you might remember the bar where those roughneck brawlers work.  the bands that are lucky enough to perform at that bar play in a chicken wire enclosed cage while the townsfolk drink, fight and steal chicks to the beat.

sherman oaks, california’s very own sons of jack are the type of band made for that chicken wire stage.  they play stripped down, balls out rock and roll tailor made for a long night out on the town.  they’re straight ahead take is refreshing.  they remind me of a young buckcherry, hungry and lean, without the bad tattoos and cliche coke references.

they’ve got a record on itunes called witness at the revival featuring a tremendous stomper called “waiting on your train”.  it’s one of those songs made for open road or the brimming flask.   i love the sound and the DIY feel of the record.  head over to itunes and give it a rip.

click below and check out their promo video for an upcoming show at the viper room in LA.

http://www.youtube.com/user/SonsOfJackMusic#p/a/u/0/CmlW1yZt7GM

**editors note:  swayze did in fact rip out a mans throat, not his heart.  thank you josh, for once again proving that i, 9 times out of 10, am full of shit. 🙂

he’s the pusha man…

terrence thorton was born in the bronx.  he was raised in virginia beach where he and his brother gene started calling themselves malice and pusha-t.  clipse was born…one of the meanest duos i’ve ever heard. 

their records captured the everyday stuggle.  cooking up.  the corner.  the women.  the rubber bands full of cash.  all the things i couldn’t relate to but never got tired of hearing about.  in my head it was the perfect soundtrack to the wire, the greatest television show ever made.

clipse put out a few fantastic records, lord willin’, hell hath no fury and ’til the casket drops but it’s what pusha’s doing lately that’s re-captured my ear.  he absolutely killed a handful of those GOOD Friday kanye tracks a few months ago, and now he’s shining all alone on this months fear of god mixtape.

his flow is ridiculous, the production is top-notch and there’s even a track that samples queen beautifully.  mixtapes truly are changing the game and this one has my early vote for tape of the year.

click and check out “open your eyes”.  respect his fresh.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbSBGgi2DpA&feature=related

sad dudes and toy-dog lovers unite!

seattle, washington’s christopher mansfield writes and records as fences.  he looks like he’s on msnbc’s lockup yet he writes clever, sad pop songs like morrissey or one of my all time favorite bands, the honorary title.

mansfield is no slouch, as he studied music at the berklee school in boston.  fate brought him together with sara quin from tegan and sara and the two began digging through piles of mansfields tracks.  the result of that work is his terrific ten song self-titled debut.

there is a time when all you need is the quiet, headphone sound of someone like fences, or elliott smith.  yet, i’ve gotten away from it lately.  one listen to the carefully vulgar “girls with accents” and it  haunts you.  it’s the type of song that never sounds tired, regardless of how many times you hear it.  the singer-songwriter, folk-pop thing was my favorite a while back.  i used to joke and refer to it as sad bastard music, a reference to nick hornby and hi-fidelity.  i guess it has something to do with the confusion of being a young person.

gone are the sad bastard days, but what does remain is my love for thoughtful, introspective music that demands your attention and forces you to examine what’s going on in your own life.  fences is that type of music.  you can play it in the background, but somehow it becomes the soundtrack for right now.

click and check out “girls with accents”.  love the song and video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMV-dKAMaOM