Thursday, January 27, 2011

Foster The People - "Helena Beat"

If you're one of the other kids dancing to Foster the People with your "Pumped-Up Kicks", then you should definitely check out the band's latest song, "Helena Beat." It might be even poppier than its predecessor, if that's possible.

The group's debut EP dropped this Tuesday, January 25th. Check it out:

Foster the People - "Helena Beat" via Pretty Much Amazing blog

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Politics - 'Dignity'

Danish rockers New Politics have taken some flack for their blatant hijacking of every nineties rock trope imaginable.  For a complete list, read the album review for the band's self-titled album.

Nevertheless, I've taken quite a liking to the group's sing-rap single, 'Dignity.'  Watch it below:

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Fitz & the Tantrums - 'Moneygrabber'

Sprinkle a little neo-soul here with some 1970s atmospherics there, and you have yourselves a modern day booty shaker.

Stream 'Moneygrabber' by Fitz & the Tantrums below:

 Fitz & the Tantrums - Moneygrabber .mp3

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dinosaur Pile-Up - 'Mona Lisa'

An assembly of electric guitar infiltrates 'Mona Lisa,' a track that can trace its genesis to Foo Fighters, Nirvana, and Matthew Sweet.

Despite the song's grungy origins, 'Mona Lisa' presents a contemporary sound that is populated with thrash and disorder amidst an undertone of cognizant pop sensibility.

Stream 'Mona Lisa' by the band Dinosaur Pile-Up below:

Dinosaur Pile-Up - 'Mona Lisa'

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Music Inspired by the Motion Picture 'Deadfall'

If you've never seen the 1993 film, Deadfall, allow me to say you are missing out.

Don't get me wrong - Deadfall is by no means a great movie. In fact, it's not even a very good movie.

So what is it that's gotten this film so ingrained in my brain?

Is it the exhilarating narration from Michael Biehn's leading role? Is it James Coburn's double performance as twin brothers? Could it be the plot twist at the end or even the slick cameo appearance from Charlie Sheen as a pool shark?

Actually, no. It's not really any of those things that make Deadfall. It's the supporting role of Eddie the con man - as played by the one and only Nicolas Cage.

Now, Cage is considered a polarizing actor - loved and loathed by many alike. And while some question his continued success as a Hollywood leading man, others have seen his performance in Deadfall.

Cage plays Coburn's two-bit sidekick with such melodramatic zeal, it'll leave you stunned. From the moment Cage enters the picture with his greasy little mustache and signature card trick, he's the star - everything else is secondary.

Every line, every action Cage delivers as Eddie is entertaining. Most of his lines are expletives - shouted or mumbled in some strange accent. His character is so over-the-top that you have to wonder whether it was intended comic relief or just sheer genius.

While Deadfall lived up to its name and went unnoticed by most audiences, Cage's performance gained a niche following which has since grown to cult status.

This status has also been recognized within the music community.

One of my favorite live bands, The Pimps (aka: The Goodyear Pimps) have written songs titled "Someone's Tryin' to Kill Me, Man!" and "Hai Fuckin' Ya!" - both of which are quotes from the movie. If that sounds like coincidence, it should be noted the Rockford, Illinois band even has a video called "The Glorious Seventeen Minutes of Deadfall." You can watch the video below (NSFW):

In 1997, California hardcore punk band, Snot, recorded a song called "Deadfall," which details the entire plotline of the film in just over 2 minutes. The song's chorus calls out "Who sent'cha?!" and is responded to with a resounding "Sam Fuckin' Peckinpah!" - one of the film's most memorable lines. The song is available to stream below. Click here if you want to decipher the lyrics.

Snot Get Some 08 Deadfall .mp3

Found at bee mp3 search engine

If you can't wait any longer to watch Deadfall, let it be known that the movie is available on Netflix Instant Streaming. Or, you can just watch all of Cage's best moments condensed into this two-part "Worst Movie Scenes of All Time" video! Enjoy!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Tae's Tracks for 2010 (Part 2 of 2)

As promised, here's Part II of my favorite songs of 2010! To link back to the first part of the list, click here.

(artist names link to official websites and song titles link to audio/video webpages)

Das Racist - "Who's That? Brooown!"

These hip-hop pranksters released two free mixtapes in 2010, chock full of goofy rhymes. One of my personal favorites is this opener from Shut Up, Dude. With lyrics like, "Brown Elvis, I can't help it, Brown Larry Birdie on the '97 Celtics" who can deny it?

Erykah Badu - "Window Seat"
Soulful. Intelligent. Funky. Erykah Badu's got it, and her latest was no exception. The video stirred controversy when it filmed Badu stripping naked in Dallas' Dealey Plaza and being mock assassinated near the site of the historic JFK shooting.

Rihanna - "What's My Name?"
Rihanna doesn't need my help getting her music out there. She's one of pop's biggest stars. My finger usually isn't on the Top 40 pulse, but this track did it for me. A guilty pleasure. Recorded as a duet with Drake, I much prefer Rihanna's solo takes on the song, such as this one from Saturday Night Live.

Ryan Bingham - "The Weary Kind"
The theme to Jeff Bridges' highly-acclaimed film, Crazy Heart. The movie worked, in part, because the music central to the plot was so well written. A heartfelt country western song that makes the list by showing you don't have to look and sound like Taylor Swift to have a mainstream crossover.

Local Natives - "Wide Eyes"
Multi-part folk harmonies complemented by thunderous percussion. Local Natives caught my attention early in the year and their album, Gorilla Manor has stayed with me after many spins.

Civil Twilight - "Letters from the Sky"
South African alt-rock trio hit their stride on this impassioned piano rocker. Could they be the Coldplay of Cape Town?

UNKLE feat. Sleepy Sun - "Follow Me Down"
UNKLE made some big strides on Where Did the Night Fall. Their brooding, trip-hop underpinnings grew into a more vibrant garage rock sound. The rhythms on "Follow Me Down" are intoxicating, dense and tribal. Dark and atmospheric. So is the video (though probably not safe for work).
The Roots w/ John Legend - "The Fire"
On top of being a wonderfully adaptable house band on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, The Roots found enough time to put out a new record. This jam with John Legend has got some fire in its belly.
Kings Of Leon - "Pyro"
KOL hit the big time on their previous album. Even the band seemed stunned to find soccer moms and pre-teen daughters showing up to their concerts. But a single like "Use Somebody" was perfectly suited for that level of arena rock appeal. On their latest, the band tries to recognize their success without selling-out their roots.

M.I.A. feat. Jay-Z - "XXXO"
M.I.A.'s eclectic dancehall style created an internet buzz before she'd ever released an album. That said, I never really got into her music. Several years later, with a third LP under her belt, it was this collab with Jay-Z that finally snagged me.

Klaxons - "Echoes"
Heralded a few years back as the leaders of the U.K.'s "new rave" dance-rock movement, Klaxons eventually faded from my radar. After having an entire album scrapped for being too uncommercial, the band recorded Surfing The Void. The song "Echoes" is shouty and bold, like Mr. Bungle-meets-the Arctic Monkeys. A massive chorus brings accessibility the chaos.

Ray LaMontagne - "Beg, Steal, or Borrow"
LaMontagne's husky vocals on this rootsy folk song speak to the pains and angst of youth coming of age.

How To Destroy Angels - "Fur Lined"
Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor formed a band with his wife. The uptempo industrial beats sets this track somewhere between nihilistic and quite danceable.

Minus the Bear - "Into the Mirror"
This group's prickly prog atmospherics and knack for pensive pop melodies returned on this casual, yet complex tune.

Best Coast - "Boyfriend"
Sweetly melancholic, straightforward, no frills indie-pop from this duo. Simple - but simply well-done.

Caribou - "Odessa"
Caribou's latest is like electronic shoegaze for an introvert's dance party. On "Odessa", Dan Snaith takes his experiments to the club for a strangely invigorating jaunt.

The Arcade Fire - "The Suburbs" and "Ready to Start"
Expectations were understandably high for this Montreal band's third outing, due to the quality of their earlier work. On The Suburbs, Arcade Fire delivered, writing some of their most poignant, nostalgic material to-date. The opening two songs set the tone for a middle class crisis. On the outside, everything is fine, but its the tension growing underneath the surface that stays with you. It's best when digested in album form, but the songs stand up on their own, too.


This concludes Tae's Tracks for 2010. I'm certain I've left some great ones out. So, now it's time to ask... What were some of your favorites?

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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Tae's Tracks for 2010 (Part 1 of 2)

It's hard to believe it's already been a year since we compiled Our Favorite Albums of 2009. But, with the end of any year, it's good to reflect back on what you experienced.

What makes for a great song? Everyone's opinion differs on the subject. Music bloggers and critics are known for making lists of what you should have been listening to all year. When it comes down to it, a great song is a personal experience and sometimes there's no other way to explain the resonance.

Below (and in no particular order) are a few of the songs that stood out to me in 2010. Stay tuned for the second part of this list in the near future.

(the artist names link to official websites and song titles link to audio/video webpages)

Birds & Batteries - "The Villain"

California indie-pop group crafts an elusive, slow-burning mystery.

Nneka - "The Uncomfortable Truth"
Socially conscious neo-soul with Afro-beat rhythms and a hip-hop edge from this Nigerian-German songwriter.

Beach House - "Norway"

Dreamy layers of floating echoes and hushed vocals made this Baltimore duo's song one of my early picks from the year.

Yeasayer - "Ambling Alp"
Genre (and culture) bending indie worldbeat synth rock from the Brooklyn band's impressive sophomore album. Also one of the trippiest videos of the year.

Massive Attack - "Paradise Circus" and "Saturday Come Slow"

What can I say? I love me some Massive Attack. And with cameos from Hope Sandoval and Damon Albarn respectively, "Paradise Circus" and "Saturday Come Slow" were two of my most-rotated songs of the year. Moody, hypnotic and rather dystopian chill-out tracks from the pioneers of trip-hop.

Portico Quartet - "The Visitor"
British contemporary jazz that's atmospheric and cinematically noir. I just heard of the quartet this year from my sister, who's seen them perform in Paris and Boston. The use of an instrument called the "hang" lends an exotic steel drum-like element to the group's cool fusion.

Yelawolf - "Love is Not Enough" (explicit)
Southern rap coming from a white skateboarder in backwoods Alabama. Spitfire lyrics wax on smalltown America with some of the year's best beats to back it up. Yelawolf's "Love is Not Enough" is an underachiever's self-loathing rejection of heartbreak - crass but honest, with a chorus that will stick in your head.

Foals - "Spanish Sahara"
Brit math-rockers trade in their jitters on this powerfully restrained track. It builds from a whisper and breaks into the kind of unnerving, icy waves perfectly reflected in the subtly engaging video.

Janelle Monae
- "Tightrope"
One of last year's biggest breakout artists, Monae's brand of funked-out soul and James Brown footwork earned her the respect of hip-hop moguls Big Boi and Diddy.

Blitzen Trapper - "Heaven and Earth"
Reverent piano ballad with a folksy alt-country bent. It's really quite lovely and hangs with you.

The National - "Bloodbuzz Ohio"
A somber roadtrip through Americana with churning rhythms to drive home the nostalgia.

The Black Keys - "Tighten Up"
After a decade of groovus, gritty blues-rock, this Akron, Ohio duo may have finally gotten their due. A great hook and plenty of whistling was enough to get back to some old school rockin'. The music video is playfully entertaining as well.

For Part II of the list, please click here.

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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Matt & Kim - 'Cameras'

Matt & Kim's 'Cameras' took a long time before it finally grew on me. Today, I'm totally hooked on the tune.

Stream the irreverant 'Cameras' below:

 Matt & Kim - Cameras .mp3