Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Covers: Joe's "Before I Cheat"

Recently, an R&B artist named Joe (just Joe, no last name of any kind) remixed up Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" to suit his point of view and covered it for Yahoo's music site. His version is called "Before I Cheat", and he sells the hell out of it. Mainstream R&B has been so watered down in recent years, so it's cool to hear an R&B singer with a strong enough voice to show some real depth and emotion.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Live Music: The Distillers

Show of hands, who else misses The Distillers? Here's an old classic clip from a couple years ago of them playing "The Hunger" live at Reading.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Live Covers: Clem Snide indie-fies "Beautiful"

Clem Snide, one of the most clever, relatable, and honest songwriters making music right now, is firmly rooted in the world of indie and alternative, but he has no elitism towards mainstream music. Here he is putting his own loveable, quirky spin on Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" like he owns it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Music Videos: Gnarls Barkley

"Who's Gonna Save My Soul" was one of "The Odd Couple"'s instant standouts, and now it's got its very own video. The song is completely heartbreaking from start to finish (and 100% of the credit goes to Cee-Lo... it's not the instruments, it's not the lyrics, it's that VOICE), but they still manage to use their usual crazy-ass style in the video even under such tragic circumstances.

By the way, in case you were on the fence about taking time out of your day to watch the whole thing, the video features a human heart singing the blues on a countertop using a piece of broccoli as a microphone before giving up and stabbing itself and apparently giving birth to the person that the heart came from as it dies. I made none of that up, it's all in there.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Old Music Videos: PJ Harvey

Since nothing I care about was released today, I'm going to dig into the archives of Youtube and pull up one of my all-time videos: the amazingly simple but completely badass video for PJ Harvey's "This Is Love". No effects or flashy edits to distract you from how fucking talented she is. The mp3 doesn't do the song justice; watching the artist herself do her thing with so much presence adds a hell of a lot to the song.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Random Track of the Day: Old 97s

Welcome to one of the universe's most underrated songs. The Old 97's have a loyal but small following, and my favorite O97 song has always been "Adelaide", but it seems to have been forgotten by everyone else. It was nowhere on their best of album, and there's not a single clip of the song on Youtube outside of a scene on "Veronica Mars" that the song was used very well in. Check out the song and spread the word.

Adelaide - Old 97s

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Instrumental Covers: "Time Is Running Out" by Four Cellos

The title says it all. It's like Muse, but more fancy-sounding.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Live Music: The Black Angels

The Black Angels can only make one specific type of song (Dark, trippy, psych-rock), but they're so amazing at producing that one sound that it's completely forgivable. Here's them performing "Black Grease" a couple days ago in New Orleans.

New Music: Nas

Nas' new album is out, and was released with no title, to the surprise of no one. The title controversy, at this stage in his career, felt like a desperate ploy for attention and publicity, and it worked, since this is the most people have talked about him in years. His stunt gave me low expectations for the album (after all, if it was any good he wouldn't have to pull shit like this to get people to talk about it), but I was really surprised by how good it actually turned out.

Lyrically, he's as solid as ever. He's at his best when he's doing just solid poetry and not trying to write hooks, which why he falls apart during "Breathe" and "Make the World Go Round" (which features a WTF appearance of Chris Brown). The usual complaint about Nas remains valid: his beats are fucking useless. His beats are usually a couple bars long and looped endlessly through the track with no fills or variation. The real highlights are tracks like "Queens Get the Money" and "Project Roach", tracks that are all about the words and don't give a shit about pop hooks.

Nas Untitled

Monday, July 14, 2008

Covers: PJ Harvey and Bjork's "Satisfaction"

PJ Harvey and Bjork covered Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction" at something at some place and time. I don't really know anything about it, I just ran across it this morning. It starts and really slow and dumb and ridiculous, but it starts kicking ass at the 2.5 minute mark.

Friday, July 11, 2008

More Remixes: Danger Mouse Remixes Zero 7

Since Danger Mouse has been involved in every album people care about lately, I thought I'd throw even more hype on the pile by posting his remix of Zero 7's "Somersault".

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Remixes: Ting Tings Vs Garbage

The vocal transitions need work, but the songs sound nice together and the video looks cool. "Shut Your Mouth" vs "Shut Up and Let Me Go" (with some Black Eyed Peas towards the end to up the cool trash factor). Many, many of you will despise this with a passion, but enough you will love most of it as much I do for posting it to be worth it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Music Videos: "My Drive Thru" and The Verve

Good day for music videos. The Santogold-Pharell-Julian Casablancas collaboration, "My Drive Thru", has a crazy-ass new video to match the crazy-ass song.

Santogold, Julian Casablancas, and N.E.R.D. Produced by Pharrell

Meanwhile, The Verve begins their comeback attempt with their new single and video "Love Is Noise". It takes a moment to get used to The Verve using loops, but the bottom line, the song just works, loops or no loops.

The Verve - Love Is Noise

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

New Music: Beck's "Modern Guilt"

Beck is back, and this time he's good! Beck's work has had it's ups and downs through the last decade, but "Modern Guilt" is definitely one of his ups. It's sonically cool and pretty well written, and gives you plenty to enjoy after multiple listens. Although the last Gnarls Barkley album stalled commercially, Danger Mouse is rising to the top faster than ever; "Modern Guilt" is the latest of the many buzz-loaded albums that he's produced this year.

Beck "Modern Guilt"

Monday, July 7, 2008

Music Videos: Crazy-Ass New Bloc Party Vid

Oh, Bloc Party. Why can't you ever live up to "Silent Alarm"'s greatness? They've been shockingly uneven ever since they were done with their first album, and the trend continues with their new song, "Mercury". The song is loaded with good ideas, and its devotion to being different is impressive, but in the end, the actual studio version sounds like a shitty remix of a potentially good song. Hopefully it gets workshopped before showing up on an album.

But that's just me. The song, and the video, have been extremely polarizing, so you're just going to have to judge for yourself.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Covers: Ben Gibbard (Death Cab) Does "Silver Lining"

Ben Gibbard, aka "The Death Cab Guy", recently covered Rilo Kiley's underrated single "Silver Lining" at the Hiro Ballroom, along with a few other songs. It sounds fantastic, and you can see the un-embeddable video at:

Meanwhile, here's an embeddable video of Ben doing the some thing 10-ish months ago. It's not quite as good, but I love the humming solo that he uses in this one:

And for the other music nerds out there-- he shifts the song from G to E-Flat, which works so much better for the song.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Acoustic: The Duke Spirit and Leila's Tambourine

It's no secret that The Duke Spirit is one of my favorite bands to break out in the last couple years, and I haven't posted about them in a while, so I'm gonna post one of their best acoustic performances. It's "The Step and The Walk", completely stripped down without losing any of the original's energy.