Monday, November 30, 2009

Bars of Gold

Okay, so I've been following this for a little while and decided to post about it. There's a band out of Michigan called Wildcatting that included a few former members of Bear vs. Shark. They put out quite an awesome album that most probably don't know about called 'How to Survive a Sneak Attack.' Bars of Gold is what happened when Marc Paffi (previous BvS vocalist) joined up. It seems the band has been recording since this past summer. After practicing Talking Heads songs for their Halloween show, Brandon from the band tells me they've gone back to work on their own stuff. There are a handful of live YouTube videos and rough demos on their MySpace page, and to be honest, I can't wait to hear what they come up with after hearing these.
- Chris

Here's "Birds" :

On the Rise: Carmine

Hey guys, Along with Wiz Khalifa's newest album, I also got my hands on a new mixtape. It's from an artist known as Carmine. My friend found out about him on Pigeons and Planes and ever since I listened to it, I knew it was legit. His beats are creative and very well done. His lyrics and flow are what I like best about him though. The first song I heard was Just Gone and the lyrics just blew me away. A few of my favorites are Just Gone, Tonight, and Don't Wake Me Up. I would highly suggest checking him out. His myspace is Check him out and download his mixtape EightEatEight. You will not be disappointed and watch out for this guy on the rise big time!

8. Animal Collective "Fall Be Kind"

I told you something would come up. This spot was originally for the Avett Brothers I and Love and You album, but Animal Collective came out with this EP last week or so, and it is WAY to good for me to keep off the list. (Still check out the AB though, the album is beautiful). Anyways, this album, although only five songs long, is still incredible, right up there with Merriweather Post Pavilion in terms of vocal harmony and musicianship (a bit of foreshadowing there). The opening track "Graze" starts off with a swirl of strings and David Porter and Noah Lennox showcasing their vocal talents. The song builds up steadily with the strings and vocal, eventually exploding into a kind of Peruvian flute masterpiece. "Bleeding"contains the vocal harmonizing and layering which is to be expected from AC. The standout track however, is certainly "What Would I Want Sky", which samples the Grateful Dead's "Unbroken Chain" the first ever licensed Dead sample. Like "Graze" the song requires considerable build up, but boy is it worth it. At about the 3:10 marker, the sample kicks into gear, with Porter singing "Old glasses clinkin/and a new orders blinkin/and I should be floating/but I'm weighted by thinkin." The sample works to perfection with the rest of the song, as well as presenting a more accessible AC. Overall the album is nearly flawless, and it should be interesting to see what 2010 brings for AC. 

Vampire Weekend "Contra"

Amazon has the 30 second previews of all the tracks up on their site. I have never been this excited for an album in my life. Last time I was this close to this excited for an album was for Lupe's The Cool way back in 2007. I dropped my brother off at school, and was the first person in Best Buy. Contra drops January 12th in the US. 

Wiz Khalifa's Deal or No Deal

Well this album has now been out for one week. He is one rapper that has been on the uprise and I believe that he's gonna be going really big really soon and this album proved just my thoughts. The beats to most if not all the songs are very catchy and upbeat. The autotune isn't overused which many rappers have resorted to lately. It's good to hear a nice mixture of autotune and just straight lyrical slayings on a mic. There are a few songs that I'm not too big of a fan of but overall I'd give this album and 8.75/10. Go buy it and don't download it. Support Wiz in his climb to the top of the rap game!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Menahan Street Band - Make the Road by Walking

Being the newest addition to this blog, I thought I'd start things off by paying tribute to an album I've recently come across which I never would have if it were not for one of our own contributors, Mike. He introduced me to the Pigeons and Planes blog along with an artist from it, Frank Ramz. I was instantly drawn not only the lyricism of his work, but also to the incredible music that was used to back his words on one album in particular. Thus, I discovered "Make the Road by Walking" by The Menahan Street Band. I highly recommend both the original work and Ramz's version and am a proud owner of the 12'' vinyl. So if you're so inclined to hear some good old good music, here's one of my favorites live.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Common feat. John Legend "Strange Fruit"

Apparently this joint was one of the throw-aways from Common's Finding Forever. I have no idea why, the song is amazing. The song samples the classic Billie Holiday song of the same name. If you've ever heard the original you know how haunting and memorable the song is. This version does justice to the original, with John Legend lending his voice on the hook. Oh yea, and Kanye produced. 

Lupe Fiasco "Enemy of the State: A Love Story"

New Lupe tape for ya'll. Happy Thanksgiving. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

B.o.B ft. Bruno Mars "Nothin On You"

Too be honest, I've been a bit late jumping on the B.o.B./Bobby Ray bandwagon. He just wasn't doing it for me. I downloaded the mixtapes, checked out the videos, but was just left shrugging my shoulders and wondering what everyone saw in him. Was I missing something? Did I have a soul? Well after watching ManU lose to Besiktas, I came back to my room in a pretty sour mood. So what a surprise it was when I sat down, checked
P&P and saw this song, the first single off B.o.B.'s upcoming The Adventures of Bobby Ray, and absolutely loved it. See, I've been telling you all along.

We're now on twitter!!

...if anyone cares. All the cool kids were doing it, and I was wicked interested in what Kim Kardashian was doing, so it was the perfect excuse. Yes, I am that lame. 

9. Kid Cudi "Man on the Moon: The End of Days"

I don't care what anyone says, this album was awesome. Some called it boring, others said Kudi droned on about how sad and alone he is. However, this is what made MotM work for me. No, I'm not emo, but it's nice to have a rapper/hip-hop artist talk about something other than A) growing up on the streets slinging crack or B) cars, girls, and money. Yea, Cudi is kind of a hybrid of singing/rapping, but for some reason, I love it. The production was also ON POINT, with names like Plain Pat, Emile, and Ratatat giving us some absolute gems. Honestly, I can listen to this album from the first song to the last, and not skip a single track (though Make Her Say comes close every time). The album has a spacey feel to it (no affiliation with Kevin Spacey, who like this album, is awesome), as the listener is transported into a kind of alternate reality. While the first part of the album has a darker, foreboding feeling (Solo Dolo, Soundtrack 2 My Life, Day N' Night), the middle of the album finds Cudder come into his own (Cudi Zone, Alive, Heart of a Lion) before eventually finishing off with Cudi's "re-awakening" (the fantastic Pursuit of Happiness, and Up, Up, and Away). All in all, the album provides a refreshing view into the mind of one of hip-hop's most complex minds, as well as showcases his extraordinary talent.

Alicia Keys "New York State of Mind Pt. 2"

Here's the CDQ of Alicia Keys' "New York State of Mind Pt. 2," the video of which was posted a couple days ago. I honestly might like this version better than the original, but it's still up in the air. I've heard rumors that Jigga will drop a verse on the final version, which will be on Miss Keys' upcoming album The Element of Freedom, which drops on December 15th. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oh...and NEW Lupe Mixtape Dropping Thanksgiving!!

Yea that's from Lupe's twitter. New tape dropping on Turkey Day. As if Thanksgiving couldn't get any better. And, here's Lupe's remix of Dirty Money's "Angels," which is going to be on the tape. A little preview if you will, and if this is how the rest is going to be, I couldn't be more excited. 

10. Osso "Run Rabbit Run"

Let me start off by saying, that this album dosn't necessarily belong at number ten. During various points this semester, I became enamored with it's beautiful soundscapes, and thought to myself that nothing could be better. However, it's going at number ten. Osso is a very very unique concept. In 2001, Sufjan Stevens created an album entitled
Enjoy Your Rabbit. The album was based off the signs of the zodiac, and was comprised entirely of electronic noises and sounds. In 2009, he re-released the album as Run Rabbit Run, only this time using a string quartet in place of the electronic music. The result is amazing. The music is so lively and I try to picture the animals each song is based on. My highlights include "Year of the Dragon" and "Enjoy Your Rabbit." These songs present a more upbeat tempo, with lots of violin, which really exemplifies the musicians' skill, as well as the intricate layering of the songs. All in all, a very unique, and exciting album. I guess owning your own label has its advantages. 

Best Albums of 2009

Well folks, the year is almost up. There's roughly five weeks left, so it's about time for YotG's Best of 2009 list. I know this is a bit early, but I only have 2 weeks left in England, so things are going to be a bit hectic with papers and planes (MIA reference intended), so I figured I'd start today. If any album drops within the next week or two that deserves to be on this list, I will amend it I assure you. So, without further ado I present the Tenth Best Album of 2009. (This is obviously my opinion, it has nothing to do with sales, or what the album got on Pitchfork, or how hyped the album was. Just music released in the year 2009, that I enjoy listening to.)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Alicia Keys "Empire State of Mind Pt. 2 (Video)"

Even though this song was the "official" song of the newly crowned world champions, Alicia's version is amazing, so I had to post this.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

K-OS "I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman (Video)"

This video has been making the rounds, and at first I wasn't really feeling it. However, today I found myself humming it to myself, and now, I think it's dope. Isn't music funny?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Vampire Weekend "Cousins (Video)"

Honestly, they can do no wrong. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hey Ya'll

My apologies for the lack of posting lately. The problem is, quite frankly, that there hasn't been much exciting music that has come out in the past week or so. Until today. The biggest, and by far best thing that has happened today, is the release of the new Vampire Weekend song, "Cousins," off their upcoming 2010 album Contra. Now you know how much I love Vampire Weekend, and I wish I could post the song for everyone to download, but XL Recordings, VW's label (that's Vampire Weekend, not Volkswagen), doesn't want any third party sites hosting the songs. And since I love Vampire Weekend so much, I will respect their wishes. However, you can hear the song a PMA, and possibly download it at P&P (nvm, it got taken down), though I would say get it on itunes if at all possible. (Actually, this now appears to be the only way to get it, but I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend getting it) Anyways, here is some new music that you may/may not like. 

Gary Go- "Just Dance (GaGa Cover)" This is pretty epnar. It's not a "normal" cover, if that makes any sense. 

Drake feat. Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and Eminem- "Forever (Travis Barker Remix)" I'm sure some of you already have this, but for those of you who don't get it real quick. Travis is incredible. 

Mike Posner- "Still Not Over You" Yeah, I've been on a Mike Posner kick as of late, and the more and more I listen, the more I like. This imho, is his best song. It's off his A Matter of Time mixtape, which I HIGHLY recommend checking out. I'm sure if you search around on the Interwebz you can find it no problem. 

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mike Posner- "One Foot Out the Door"

Sorry for the lack of posts the last few days. I was in Scotland, and without a computer or internet access. So without further ado, I present Mike Posner, hailing from Duke University. This mixtape has been out for a few weeks, but I just recently decided to give it a chance. I'm glad I did. Posner's style is odd. It's kind of like a blend of rap, hip-hop, pop and r&b. The awesome part of this tape, I feel, is the production. The instrumentals and beats are guaranteed to get your head bobbing. Look forward to new stuff from this guy. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

And Jude Law

And in the spirit of the last post, Jude Law.

Eric Cartman vs Lady GaGa

Idk if anyone saw the latest episode of South Park, "Whale Whores," but it was phenomenal. The pinnacle of the entire episode was obviously Eric Cartman's stirring rendition of Lady GaGa's "Poker Face." This is why South Park is the best show on tv. (Actually it's tied with Curb Your Enthusiasm, but I don't think we'll find Larry David singing GaGa anytime soon. Download under the video. 

Raekwon feat. Lyfe Jennings- "Catalina (Video)"

Here's the visual of "Catalina" off The Chef's incredible OB4CL Pt. II. 

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I Hate College

Here is an intriguing song by a rapper named Wiz. Apparently this kid is from Boston, which is good, cause this song is pretty sick. It's obviously based off Asher Roth's "I Love College," though I think I might like this one better. Idk, see for yourself.

Friday, November 6, 2009

New T-Pain

Here's a new joint from Mr. Autotune himself. I like it. It harkens back to the old T-Pain, not the non-autotuned, rapping T-Pain which has emerged as of late. Apparently, this song is unfinished, and might have someone else on it. For now, it works just fine. Saw it at P&P.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Christmas (and Juelz)

Here in England, it's officially the Christmas season, as they don't celebrate Thanksgiving. As for me, I've been listening to Christmas music since October 1st, so I'm just glad everyone else finally decided to follow along. Anyways, one month is far too short a time period to enjoy the best genre of music, so here are some early stocking stuffers.

Oh, and a non-Christmas song that I've been bumping for the past month or so. Juelz and Jim Jones take "Forever," and rip it a new one. Dipset.

Gucci Mane and Usher- "Spotlight" Video

Here's the new, official video from Mr. So Icey, and Errsher, for their song "Spotlight." This song is going to be huge, I'm calling it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

New Vampire Weekend

So Vampire Weekend have apparently been playing some of the new stuff off their upcoming album, Contra, due out January 12th. I thought Horchata was really really good, and judging from these videos, I think their sophmore effort will be just as strong as the first. Not great quality (there from concerts), but still, it's new Vampire Weekend!!!!!!

"California English"


Monday, November 2, 2009

Oh... and New Usher and Yeasayer

Yea, Usher and Yeasayer don't really have anything in common, except both these songs are pretty sick, and I spent a good portion of my 6 hour library session today listening to them. 

Graduation: The Musical

Absolutely dope project. Highly recommend everyone check it out.