Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hugo - Bread & Butter

Have you heard of Hugo? You should have. I had no idea who he was until about 20 minutes ago or so. The Good Sir George alerted me to his cover of Jay-Z's "99 Problems", and it was pretty good. I wondered what his original stuff was like. I joyfully discovered that it was better. I suggest that you should hear this and probably search out more. Unless you already knew about him, in which case you should give your head a shake and silently apologize for not telling me sooner. Jerk.

Hugo - Bread & Butter [Live & The Collect]

Oh and also check out The Collect.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Egyptrixx - Start From The Beginning

Well some things in life are just strange. Today in one of my daily music feeds I got a track from Egyptrixx... which happens to be the stage name of David Psutka, who I used to play rugby with back in the T-Dizzle with the Balmy Beach. I'd recently wondered what ever happened to him, as he was a very good athlete and thought he might play some higher rep rugby at some point, but here I find himself reincarnated as a producer-performer travelling around using an Akai APC-40, a Kaos Pad, and a keyboard. Wait a second... I've got one of those... and that's what I want to do! Dave is also, apparently, a classically trained pianist. Coincidentally, so am I. Is that weird... or what? Granted it sounds like our musical productions are very different, but it's nice to find one of my peers succeeding at something I always thought could work. Inspiring. This track is more ambient and the music almost secondary, but I have to give props where props are due.

Egyptrixx - Start From The Beginning

Blaze on Mr. Psutka!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Janelle Monáe - Tightrope

This is my 300th blog post today which means nothing except that I've spent at least 300 minutes on this thing, maybe a little more. I wanted to find something fresh for this one, and thankfully here we have the lovely miss Janelle Monáe bringing elements of Cee-Lo Green, Outkast, James Brown, and dare I say a little Etta James into something new. I'm loving this new soul revival movement, and it's pretty funny that one of the leading exponents of it right now is on Sean Combs' label. Go figure. So enjoy this fantastic performance by someone with real talent, and go get her album. Happy Sunday.

Get up, get on up.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Run-D.M.C. vs Jason Nevins - It's Like That

This is a bit of an oldie but definitely a goodie. This was one of the first songs to start the remix craze, which when you think about it is kind of like all these movie remakes that keep coming out. Anyway unlike Run-D.M.C. who are obviously on top of the hip-hop world, Jason Nevins was a house producer who happened to come up with something really awesome. He hasn't done much of note since, but at least this one was sweet. Creds to The Franchise for the reminder of it's coolness.

Run-D.M.C. vs Jason Nevins - It's Like That

Think I'll throw that one on tonight at the Phoenix.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Dobie Gray - Drift Away

We had a bit of a soul revival at the Phoenix last night and played some pretty slammin' jams. Good times had by all. This is a classic track originally written by Mentor Williams but popularized by Dobie Gray in 1973. It's really more of a country track but it's got a lot of soul influence and Dobie's voice is as soulful as it gets. This particular version is slightly cut off at the end but we get the picture.

Dobie Gray - Drift Away [Live @ The BBC]

That's a pretty sweet fro Dobie's got there.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Some Previews

I've been working on a lot of projects and now have about 40 that I need to finish before I let myself move on to other stuff. I revisited "Red Shoes" tonight and I'm posting the nearly finished version below. I changed the guitar and opening bass parts, cleaned up everything a little more, and remixed the levels a little.

I'm also posting a couple of the samples that can be found on my Soundcloud page, which you can see here. The next project will be to clean up my Myspace page, where I'll be posting the songs as they get mostly finished. The previews will all go into the Soundcloud page.

Red Shoes

Eighties Preview

Tension Preview

Take Us Away Preview

Slide Preview

Stay tuned for more.

J.J. Grey & Mofro - On Fire

J.J. Grey & Mofro are a funk-soul group from Florida who have some serious groove. That's about all I know about them right now and frankly that's all I need to know, because you can hear what they're all about right here in this phat-ass song. Props to Hillz Billz for the heads up on this one. WARNING: This video may contain Barbie dolls.

Stay tuned for some preview tracks in a couple hours.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bag Raiders - Shooting Stars

Well the blog is still in transition, but I'm getting there. I've changed the justification a bit, and the colours a little more. The appearance will probably change dramatically in the next month or so, particularly with all the additions that are on the way. There's a new website on the way, tentatively scheduled for January 1st launch, which will also incorporate a new weekly podcast format that will include the best tunes of the week along with some other cool stuff. I'm also working on making it all a little more mobile-friendly, so everyone on the go can check it out on their cellular device of choice. Dang. This is gonna be a lot of work. This is, of course, also on top of all the music I want to have done by then. Yeesh.

Anyway Bag Raiders are from Australia and they're super cool with a disco-house style that just screams party all over it. You'll probably recognize this track from some McDonald's commercial. Sad, but hey, musicians need a paycheck too.

Bag Raiders - Shooting Stars


Bag Raiders - Fun Punch

Let the hard work begin.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pretty Lights - Let 'Em Know It's Time To Go

The blog was getting a little stale so as you can see I've given it a bit of a face-lift. I'm not sure if I'll keep it like this, and I'm still tweaking the color scheme a bit, but it'll do for now.

This is Pretty Lights. I'd never heard of the guy until Paul was playing some his stuff before work the other night. What a great find! This guy mixes all kinds of different genres and plays some really phat mixes of old funk tunes, like this track that uses a sample from Stretch's classic "Why Did You Do It". Inspiring stuff, and I also like the live performance with the live drum set. I've been considering a framework for my own live work and something like this is definitely in the mix. Donso is another group experimenting in awesomeness, and I've included them as some bonus goodness.


Donso - Mogoya

Exciting times.

A Tribe Called Quest - Electric Relaxation

I've gone off the boil a bit in the past few days. Things happen quickly and in bunches sometimes, and the master plan kind of got lost in the shuffle. I've been hard on the production side of things for a couple days and I'm starting to get my groove back. I'm hoping to have enough done by Thursday-ish to at least post some samples of the newer stuff I've been working on. I've been inspired a lot recently by some downtempo stuff, kind of hip-hop grooves that I've been interested in experimenting with for a while now. A Tribe Called Quest has always had some really sweet production and here's an example of some of their sweetness that Amin reminded me of the other day.

A Tribe Called Quest - Electric Relaxation


Devin The Dude - Jus' Coolin

Really diggin' that groove lately.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole - Over The Rainbow

The weather has been particularly dreary for the past few days, and today is no exception. I'm also feeling slightly off so I thought I'd just picture somewhere warm and sunny and wonderful. Somewhere I've never been. Hawaii sounds perfect. Carrie posted this one the other day and I thought today was perfect for it.

Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole is a legend in Hawaii for his wonderful singing voice and traditional values. Sadly he passed away at the very young age of 38 due to complications from his weight, but he will be remembered forever because of his talent and energy. On a crappy day like today I can just play some IZ and dream that I'm on a mountain somewhere near Hilo. Hopefully some day I really will be.

Israel Kamakawaiwo'ole - Over The Rainbow

Thanks Izzy, I feel better already.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Longpigs - On And On

Here's another blast from past. This song was big in '96, and then the Longpigs just kind of faded away. I suppose they weren't exactly one hit wonders, but at least in North America this was it for them. They opened for Radiohead at one point, but where Thom Yorke's troupe evolved into one of the world's great musical performers, the Longpigs couldn't quite find their niche, couldn't quite take their sound further than they already had. It's an all too familiar story, and sometimes that's just the way it goes.

Longpigs - On And On

See ya tomorrow.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Catherine Wheel - Eat My Dust You Insensitive Fuck

I first heard about Catherine Wheel when their screaming, angry chart hit "Waydown" came out in 1995. Being quite interested in the heavy rock / metal / industrial movement at the time, it fitted nicely into my old loud lists. I remember going out and buying the brilliant "Happy Days" album and putting it on and being surprised that these guys weren't just a screamo hardcore act. Lead singer Rob Dickinson, a cousin of Iron Maiden headman Bruce Dickinson, displayed some impressive vocal talent with an array of different styles which all seemed to fit.

Their 1997 album "Adam And Eve" was even better for me. It featured long, epic progressive rock ballads and incorporated more varied instrumentation than their previous work. Unfortunately after that they switched labels, put a "The" in front of their name, released a mediocre album in 2000 and subsequently disbanded.

Rob Dickinson is still around doing some solo work, but it's just not the same. It never is. This is the slow, pulsating masterpiece from that '95 album that made such an impression on me. It would have been stellar live.

Catherine Wheel - Eat My Dust You Insensitive Fuck


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lyrics Born - I Like It, I Love It

Inspiration comes in many different forms. Fresh tunes is my particular favourite. Every day people give me the heads up on cool new tunes and it's especially satisfying when you get a bomb track like this one. I really don't know much of anything about Lyrics Born, but I'm definitely gonna scope them out some more. I've rocked this one the past couple weeks courtesy of a tip from Darcy and it's definitely on the regular rotation now. A wicked funk bass rip with some tight lyrics and it's time to get on down.

Lyrics Born - I Like It, I Love It

Like it? I love it!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Chromeo - Hot Mess

...and now on a lighter note... I was intending to go through the entire year without featuring artists more than once (bonus beats excepted), but the video for this just came out, and it just had to be posted. This is my favourite track off the new Chromeo album, and I've been rocking it for a couple weeks at the Phoenix now. The video is awesome too. Say no more.

Chromeo - Hot Mess


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Joe MacKenzie - Sgt. MacKenzie

Today is Remembrance Day. Unfortunately in recent times this has become somewhat of a contentious event. Why should we pay tribute to war? I am in no way a supporter of war, nor do I say any cause for most of our troops overseas. That said, the circumstances we live in are not the same as they were 70 years ago. The many thousands of people on each side who died in the two World Wars did not have the understanding of the world in the way we do. Most importantly, were I in the same position as those men, I would have done the same thing. We should remember not because they fought bravely, but because they were willing to give their own lives for the idea that we might one day all live free and in peace.

Joe MacKenzie - Sgt. MacKenzie

Close your eyes when listening, and remember.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tenacious D - Dude, I Totally Miss You

All Hail The D. In case you're boring, Tenacious D rock out like nobody's business, all the time. Since you may not be aware of this, I suggest you watch the history of Tenacious D. Seriously. This one goes out to (in no particular order): The Franchise, The Count of Blackiestan, Evil C, BSD, BMD, Marcus Aurelius, DJ JHatt, The Fonz, Fats, Teabag, Dr. V, RG Esq., Mister Sheik, all my Ironmen bretheren, everyone I haven't forgotten, and of course The Shawn Taylor Hype Machine. Rock on bros.

Tenacious D - Dude, I Totally Miss You [Live]

DJ B-Ray World Tour? Needs to be done.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thunderheist - Jerk It

More Canadian badness for ya, this time from Thunderheist. This recent stream of musical awesome from the land of beavers and maple syrup has not been planned, it's just been coincidental that lots of great music is coming from this fine country right now. Certainly more so than the stuff coming from the States right now. There probably isn't any particular reason for this, but them's the facts.

I heard this song a while back and really liked it, but kind of put it on the shelf until Julie recommended I give it some time on the ol' Phoenix playlist. Good call, I'd say. This video is actually an entry in the make-a-video contest, the official winner is here. I liked this one better.

Electro-rap? Ya, I can dig it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

OK Go - End Love

OK Go were originally introduced to me by Natalie as a result of their ingenious viral music video for their single "Here It Goes Again". They have since become more of a fad band given that almost all their videos are similarly elaborate one-take choreographed madness that you just can't help but watch to appreciate the madness. They do occasionally make some decent music though, and I kinda like this track. Oh, and they're playing at the Aitken Centre tonight with Metric. You should go if you feel like it.

OK Go - End Love

Ok.... go! I mean it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Joel Plaskett - Work Out Fine

Joel Plaskett started rocking out as a lanky lead singer in Thrush Hermit, then left and continued as a lanky lead singer in the Joel Plaskett Emergency, and has finally transitioned into simply the lanky lead singer of... Joel Plaskett? He could probably afford to eat a few more double downs but he does make cool music. I've seen him live a couple times and both were great shows. Do try and catch one of his solo acoustic sets, well worth it. This is a track from his great 2003 release "Truthfully, Truthfully".

Joel Plaskett - Work Out Fine

Cause everything will work out just fine.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Art Of Fresh - Out This World

Hidden talent unearthed everywhere. Creds to Lee for this find. More quality Canadian hip-hop, this time from Art Of Fresh out of the T-dizzle. Lately the fresh new tracks seem to be falling from the sky. This one is a bit older, but these cats are new to me so it feels now. For a bonus I'm poppin' in the new single from their upcoming album. Check it.

Art Of Fresh - Out This World


Art Of Fresh - Alive

Bet you'll hear some of that tonight at the Phoenix.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hawksley Workman - We Will Still Need A Song

Ryan Corrigan, or Hawksley Workman to you, was born to perform. At least that's the impression you get when you hear his music, or see his videos, or better yet see his live performances. I haven't seen him live yet, but I've seen video and it's on my list of things to do. Mr. Workman likes to do things on a grand, epic scale. He likes hyperbole. He likes grandeur. He probably loves gunpowder. He's a passionate fellow.

I admit that when I was first introduced to him via his first single "Striptease", I wasn't a fan. This song, however, reverberated ever so effortlessly, and I must have played it a hundred times when I found it. Despite the absence of the more epic introduction from the album version of this track, the PG version of this song that's in the video is still a great song. I like artists that play with emotion and have some guts. Mr. Workman has plenty of that.

Hawksley Workman - We Will Still Need A Song


Hawskley Workman - Not Your Parents' Music

As the late, great Bill Hicks said, play from your f'in heart!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Beast - Mr. Hurricane

Here's another example of a group that I hadn't really heard much about until they were supposed to come play at the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival. Thankfully I now know that Beast are from Montreal, a trip-hop group of sorts with an edge. Unfortunately they didn't quite make it out here to Fredericton, for whatever reason, but at least I now know who they are and can happily throw some of their tunes in my regular playlist. Check this out.

Beast - Mr. Hurricane


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Black Keys - Tighten Up

Any time there is a dinosaur singing the lead vocals to a song, I sit down and listen. The Black Keys are not dinosaurs, but somehow through the miracle of modern science, or technology, or some strange hand puppet thing, they have managed to figure out how to get this dinosaur to sing their entire song, on camera! If this doesn't deserve some kind of recognition, at least in the form of a meager blog post, I don't know what does. I mean... jebus... I just saw a new video from two horrifically useless media-driven stereotype top 40 craptacular rubbish catch-phrase "artists" that was a week old and had over 2 million views already. That's more than two times as many as this one. Sometimes I think I get it, and then there are days like today.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Just Jack - Writer's Block

Sometimes things just come randomly. Today I found Just Jack. How come nobody told me about him before? Maybe some more people need to take up blogging. Or just posting stuff to their friendly neighborhood social networking site. Passenger pigeon anyone? Check this guy out, he's surprisingly subtle and catchy.

Just Jack - Writer's Block


Just Jack - Starz In Their Eyes [Trophy Twins Aftershow Remix]

Now back to the production front...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sloan - Money City Maniacs

Mat Trevors has a blog up and going now. It's a good read, particularly if you're into fishing, or geology, or music, or politics, or minimalism, or drinking, or... well anything really. It's worth a visit. This post is a good read, about how Mat would fix New Brunswick. Next election, I'm voting Mat, whether he's running or not.

Anyway a few days ago Mat posted this lovely song by Halifax rockers Sloan, who were at one time the premier act in the east coat. They've slowed down a bit in recent years, but I guess that happens after nearly 20 years on the road. Their 10th studio album is due out in 2011, and with a little luck they'll be back in the limelight again. Here's their party anthem to help ring in November.

What an intro. The siren gets 'em every time.