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on my boom box: feed me (with teeth), BBC essential mix

4 Jan

New year, same blog. Sometimes consistency is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

Even though it’s been awhile since my last post, I’m sort of pleased that my last post related to Basslights. I just got back a few days ago, and gawd what I wouldn’t give to go back. I’ll spare you a review, but suffice to say it was ah-mazing: Griz, Big G, Gramatik, A-Trak, Pretty Lights, and Bassnectar all killed it. Just when I think I’m ready to stop spending mad money seeing these artists over and over again, I realize it’s always worth it, every single penny.

A big part of the fun of going to out of town shows is the road trip- really, what’s a better excuse for clowning around with your friends in a new place for a few days? Traveling for shows is like the fun version of traveling for work- no distractions, just pure focus on the task at hand. But instead of work, your task is: have as much damn fun as possible.

I always have great compadres for these trips, most of whom are way more in the know about music than me. This weekend was no exception; and, sure enough, during a long, traffic-filled drive home, our road trip jams turned me on to a dope, new-to-me DJ: Feed Me.

Feed Me is the house/dubstep/moombahton project of John Gooch, a DJ from Hertfordshire who is also known as Spor. He has released a ton of music between his two projects over the past few years, the most recent of which has been on mau5trap, Deadmau5’s record label. But for me, the particular hook was his BBC Essential Mix. Picture this: I am hungover, running on zero sleep, sitting in bumper to bumper traffic on 95, and should probably be hating life. Instead, I’m head bopping and perking up at the sounds of Robyn into Radiohead dubstep remixes. If something could perk me up in that state, it’s damn good.

As DC’s luck would have it, Feed Me is coming to the 930 Club this month, albeit on a Sunday. But for the dedicated bassheads, this is one not to miss. Think about it.

In the meantime, please listen to this BBC Essential Mix in its entirety. You now have something to look forward to in your work day tomorrow!

BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix ft. Feed Me

on my boombox (on halloween): diplo and david lynch (sadly not together)

31 Oct

Happy Halloween, everyone! I thought I would hate this mid-week Halloween thing, but really it just means we’ve been celebrating Halloween for 4-5 days and will continue for another 4. I can get down with that.

Allow me to share what I”ll be listening to on this Hallow’s eve.
1) Diplo and Friends BBCR1xtra: Halloween Special. As a gift to all of us on this special holiday, Diplo and his cohorts just dropped a 3-hour mix on us. Yes, yes, yessss.

2) David Lynch- anything and everything you can find. David Lynch sounds perfectly eery enough for halloween, without needing to listen to the same old Monster Mash and Thriller-filled Halloween playlists again. Such as:
Pinky’s Dream ft. Karen O

Now get Spooky errybody.

on my boombox: my month of travel, in song

9 Oct

September and October 2012 will forever be known as “the months of DC absenteeism.” I’ve been zipping all over the place via plane, train, bus, and roadtrip this month, so DC show-going has been mostly on hold.
That said, traveling is often a great way for me to forever relate certain music to a particular trip or experience. Sometimes it’s the song that plays on repeat when you’re drinking with your college friends during a reunion weekend; maybe it’s a new album that keeps you sane through a long flight delay. Or, maybe you’re lucky enough to see a local band play in a new city you’re visiting.

So, here is the rundown of the music I’ve been digging this month, that I will forever associate with these particular trips. (Note that I’m not including my Lotus show trip to Philly in my list of travels, because I already featured a Lotus track in my last track. But you should still listen to more Lotus).

1. Road trip to Notre Dame: Noosa, “Walk on By (Sound Remedy Remix)”

During a road trip all the way to South Bend, Indiana, to watch Notre Dame crush Michigan, this song played double duty: not only did it get us pumped up enough to turn the end of our 10 hour road trip into a party, but we continued to play the song throughout the weekend. And why wouldn’t we? This song inspires infectious party enthusiasm for anyone who listens to it. I should probably never listen to this song when I am trying to convince myself to stay in one night, because I wouldn’t even last through the first verse before getting off the couch and putting on some make up. Welcome to your fall party anthem, friends. You’re welcome.

 

2. A weekend in New Orleans: Panorama Jazz Band at the Spotted Cat Jazz Club

Any self-respecting music fan knows that when you’re going to New Orleans, you’re going to Mecca. You’re going to the place that gave literal birth to the defining genres of contemporary music: jazz and rock n roll. The music seeps into every aspect of New Orleans life, and I loved visiting a culture that was so immersed in its love of music. After all, we’re talking about the city that fostered the rise of everyone from Weezy to Frank Ocean to Big Freedia (and bounce music as a whole).

Naturally, I was ecstatic when the weekend’s plans included a trip to Frenchman St., a strip in the French Quarter that is bursting at the seams with live music venues. We ended up at a place called the Spotted Cat, a place that forever changed my perception of jazz clubs- for the better. At least in New Orleans, the term “jazz club” need not imply stuffy, fancy, old crowds, or expensive drinks. Picture your favorite funky dive bar, but put a small stage at the front and feature extremely talented musicians there every night of the week- free of charge. Needless to say, i was in heaven. Check out Panorama, the band I had the lucky pleasure of seeing on Saturday night.

 

3. Homecoming weekend in Charlottesville: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, The Heist

For this particular trip, I’m still in the lead up phase. So, this piece of music gets to play the role of “album I listen to while obsessively day dreaming about Homecoming weekend in Charlottesville.” Homecoming in Charlottesville, home of my alma mater UVA, is always one of my favorite weekends of the year. Thus, I usually need a great piece of music to listen to repetitively in the week prior, for several reasons: to get me excited for the unprecedented amounts of fun I’m about to have while reuniting with my old college friends, and to distract myself to make the week go by faster. And, of course, said music will be played repetitively during the road trip down 29 South, lest I burst with impatience during the drive.

THANKFULLY, Seattle-based white rapper-producer duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis just dropped a new album that totally fits the bill. The Heist includes songs featuring everyone from Schoolboy Q to Ray Dalton to Eighty4 Fly to Band of Horses.  The whole album is top notch, but a particular stand out track is “Same Love,” a moving tribute to gay marriage, in support of Macklemore’s gay uncles. Macklemore conveys a sense of empathy that is entirely endearing and unexpected, and the input from Mary Lambert is perfect. Yes, I will be listening to this album the entire way to Charlottesville, and the party-ready track below will make more than one appearance during the weekend.

“Thrift Shop”

on my boombox: django django, “storm”

5 Sep

I resisted blogging about this track for a little while, simply because Django Django is having their media moment right now, and this song is EVERYWHERE. I think it’s an awesome song, but I try not to flood you all with stuff you may have heard, given that I’m sure some readers frequent many other blogs in addition to RwR.
Then I saw the album art for this song, and I couldn’t resist posting it any longer. Not only is the song great and the band has a cool name (even if it reminds me a little too much of work- kudos if you understand why), but I couldn’t resist having this album art on my page. Enjoy the song (and the visual).

Django Django, “Storm”

on my boombox: jesca hoop, “the house that jack built”

4 Sep

The time between my initial discovery of an artist to when I first blog about them varies greatly. Some artists, like Radiohead, have received nearly a decade of my love and adoration before they make it on RwR. But I often think my most enjoyable posts are artists whom I’ve just discovered that month, week, day, or even hour, as this reflects a certain urgency; an urgency that only comes upon listening to a new artist or album for the first time and going, “HOT DAMN, I love this, this is awesome, I need to shout about this from rooftops!” And shout I do, but usually via WordPress instead of rooftops (usually).

This evening, I’m feeling that familiar urgency, and it’s for a woman named Jesca Hoop.

I stumbled upon this lady’s music over at You Ain’t No Picasso (an excellent music blog if you’re looking to add to the Google Reader), and I was hooked from the second I pushed play on “Born To.” As it turns out, “Born To” is just one of a bevy of excellent tracks on Jesca’s most recent album The House that Jack Built (which I also think is an excellent album name, though not sure why).

Some bio: Jesca grew up in a Mormon family in California, and later lived alone in the woods of California and Wyoming. (Side note: What is it about isolation that seems to spawn great female vocalists? Zola Jesus talking about her upbringing in the desolate, cold Wisconsin forests comes to mind). Somewhere along the way, she was lucky enough to nanny for Tom Waits’ kids for five years (where do I sign up for that gig?). Her musical career, however, only took shape in 2007 with her debut album Kismet.

Now, the important stuff- the music. Jesca’s unconventional upbringing and prolonged time spent away from contemporary society resonates in her sound, which is all at once modern and rustic. I don’t mean to belittle Jesca by tying her to comparisons, but I truly think she fuses the musical aspects of so many female artist whom I admire. She shows the songwriting chops of Fiona Apple, the free-spiritedness of Bjork, the haunting intrigue of PJ Harvey, and the musical power punch of St. Vincent. Though she will automatically gain fans who are inclined to the female-singer-songwriter style, I think the tunes are rich enough to appeal to a wider audience; I suspect they’d pull in casual listeners who wouldn’t have the attention span for Fiona Apple, simply because the sounds are so gosh darn interesting (not to mention beautifully arranged and relateable).

I’m hard-pressed to choose a favorite track from The House That Jack Built, so I’ll post a smorgasbord. Please go out and listen to the whole thing on your own. It’s an album to spend an afternoon with, to sing your teeth into, and (I bet) one that you will play over and over again. I know I will.

“Born To”

“Ode to Banksy”

“Hospital”

on my boombox: my july playlist

13 Jul

Heyyy guys.  [said very guiltily because I haven’t posted in ages].

Yes, I have been MIA. But, I will make up for lost time by serving up much more than the usual weekend roll out track. I’ve had a lot of great tunes coming through my earbuds in the past few weeks, and I need to share them with you all. As such, this Friday I’m giving you not just one track, but a whole smorgasbord of sounds that I highly recommend you add to your rotation immediately. Some is brand spankin new, some are throwbacks, but no matter how old they’re still fresh to death. Always.

Enjoy:

1. David Byrne and St. Vincent, “Who”

David Byrne is a legend. Annie Clarke is soon to be a legend. Former Talking Heads frontman + current favorite female singer-songwriter team up for debut album = GOLD. Already excited to see this due at the Fillmore this spring.

2. Twin Shadows, “Five Seconds”

Is this video awesome or absurd? Absurdly awesome?

3. Cat Power, “Ruin”

Cat Power has always been, in a word, fierce. Her new single proves that fierceness hasn’t gone anywhere, and will surely show up in spades on her new album (due in August). She finally strikes a balance between soulfulness and rock energy with this track, and the result is simply wonderful.

4. DIIV, “Doussed”

Yes, I turn my nose up at bands like DIIV. Or, rather, the deluge of bands like DIIV: from Brooklyn, lots of hyped internet singles without a strong album to back them, etc. Well, all of that is still true (their new album is thoroughly meh), but this song is awesome.

5. Azaelia Banks,”Nathan” [ft. Styles P]

MY GIRL! She’s always proving my inaugural post correct (I named her one of the “Ladies of 2012”). Her album is finally out, and her new tracks are better than ever. Teamed with Styles P, she’s unstoppable.

6. Blur, “Under the Westway”

I first heard about Blur, fittingly, from the most socially awkward music nerd I ever met. I asked him what some of his favorite bands were, and he could barely pull together a sentence except to say, “I really love Blur.” Yeah, as did many other kids who didn’t have a date to the prom (and are still cooler than you). New album is looking strong, can’t wait for this to drop.

7. Frank Ocean, “Bad Religion”

A newly public sexual identity and a slammin new album that’s gaining tons of well-deserved hype. You go, Frank!

8. Lykke Li “Silver Springs” [Fleetwood Mac cover]

Did you know that a bevy of amazing musicians like Tame Impala, St. Vincent, Best Coast, Antony, MGMT, and, yes, Lykke Li are all teaming to release a Fleetwood Mac cover album in August? I didn’t either!

9. Bonde de Role, “Bang” [ft. Das Racist]

Brazilian pop stars + semi-ironic Brown rap wunderkins +production by Diplo = everything I love wrapped in one killer track.

9. Monsters of Folk, “Say Please”

Back in 2009,  some of my favorite musicians formed a super group and I didn’t know about it. That has now changed. Please enjoy the musical stylings of  Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Matt Ward of M. Ward and She & Him, and Conor Oberst. All at once.

10. My Bloody Valentine, “I Only Said”

No matter how many times I listen to this song, that flute sound never stops blowing my mind. Some of the best rock music coming from Ireland in the 20th century, and Loveless is often considered one of the best albums of the last 30 years- that’s music worth revisiting.

11. Japandroids, “Fire ‘sHighway”

Japandroids’ new album is everywhere, and I’m so ok with it. Finally, FINALLY a band getting some buzz for music that would never be described as “ambient” or “dreamy.” Nah, these guys sound like a way better version of the bands I fell in love with in high school- reckless, full of youthful energy, and not a delay pedal in sight. For those about to throw their laptop out of the window when they read another 10.0 Pitchfork of a dream-pop beach band from Brooklyn, this is for you.

12. Passion Pit, “Constant Conversations”

With new singles trickling out one by one, Passion Pit is successfully building tons of hype for their new album. While the other singles have had the same dance-pop catchiness that made Passion Pit obnoxiously (/awesomely) ubiquitous during my college years, this track has a mellower feel that I dig.

13. De La Soul, “Stakes Is High”

A coworker put on some De La Soul in the office for us yesterday, which was a great reminder to line this up. Great throwback.

14. Unknown Mortal Orchestra, “Endless Shore” (Melody’s Echo Chamber cover)

Weird New Zealand rockers with even weirder mysterious album art. These guys are nothing if not intriguing, even while playing a cover.

15. Fiona Apple, “Werewolf”

How could I not mention new Fiona Apple on the blog? Long story short, she’s done it again. She’s still crazy talented and crazy sad. And every aspiring writer everywhere just got a little more jealous of her.

on my boombox: yuksek, “on a train” (magician remix)

30 May

It’s no secret that much of the music on my blog comes from the taste and expertise of my many musically inclined friends. The best is when friends expose me to new music as we share DJ responsibilities while sitting on porch on a Saturday night in the summer– periodically switching out iPhones from the speakers while different people serve up their new favorite beats (or just throw on a tried-and-true classic. Anything by the Talking Heads will do).

I discovered the track below by this very same process, during an especially enjoyable porch sitting session this past weekend. Everyone was bringing out the good stuff and fresh beats were in abundant supply, but this one especially stuck out.

I haven’t listened to a ton of Yuksek before but I definitely will now, because the original version of this remix is strong. And this magician character, whoever he is, just takes it to a whole new level. This track is the perfectly versatile party song- one that gets people going but doesn’t feel awkward when played in a chill setting. It’s a new go-to hang out jam, and I’m always on the hunt for more of those.