Note-taking is an essential part of any smartphone experience. While it’s nice to have a phone, a GPS and a camera rolled into one, it’s amazing to have a notebook with endless pages and ink (barring any battery issues) in your front pocket at all times.
My notes app is useful for a wide variety of reasons, but a major one is remembering all the great music I hear or am recommended to listen to throughout the day.
Brett Easton Ellis has a podcast. His first guest is Kanye West. The episode is an hour long, and it claims to be part one of two. These are the things that make commutes endurable.
The hook of the show is simple: two of pop culture’s most outspoken icons speaking out about pop culture. You’ve probably already predicted that Ellis’s first question meanders on for about five minutes and he mostly talks about himself. You’ve probably already heard that Kanye responds by quickly describing himself as a “Creative Genius,” the title he’d put for his occupation on his customs and immigrations forms if he knew how to spell the word “genius.”
Boiler Room is the organizer of underground DJ events that take place in front of some of the coolest (read: lamest) crowds in select cities around the world. Madlib did an awesome performance most recently, but these are the top 5 sets put on by Boiler Room throughout the past couple of years.
Another installment of the Boiler Room event was recently released via YouTube, so you know what to expect: people looking disinterested, other people trying too hard to get on camera, and even more people looking like they’re way too cool to be standing a few feet from one of their generation’s best producers. But great music.
This version of the event took place in San Francisco, which doesn’t host the events as frequently as the LA or NYC, and it also served as a post-Treasure Island Music festival event. For those reasons, the crowd does seem a bit more into the music than past versions of the event. But the man behind the boards is also Madlib, the elusive yet eternally dope DJ/producer/West Coast hip-hop extraordinaire. Everyone pays attention to Madlib.
If you thought Lion was the last step in the evolutionary career path of Snoop, you underestimated the artist. The musician has now become Snoopzilla, a character akin to the 70s-style funk-rap persona he popularized on songs like “Sexual Eruption.”
Along with retro-style modern producer Dam Funk, Snoopzilla is releasing an album entitled 7 Days of Funk via Stones Throw Records. While that album has a release date scheduled for December 10th, the duo ecently released the video for the track “Faden Away.” The entire video is like a vintage performance, with Snoopzilla donning the outrageous wig and singing and rapping with the vocoder effect.
The new video from Welsh indie-pop band Los Campesinos! is a tremendous feat of acting, choreography and camerawork. The entire clip for the No Blues track “Avocado Baby” was shot in one go, and there are enough costume changes and bombastic effects that it would’ve been difficult to film even with the time and editing offered with multiple takes.
Never mind that the video’s narrative doesn’t quite make sense, there’s enough going on and the song’s good enough that the clip is worth watching. What viewers can take away from the story is that band member Gareth Campesinos stars as “the host of a terrible game show” called The Avocado Show, and then there are lots and lots of weird costumes, masks and other crazy things going on.
Little Bird’s American Spirits LP begins with a complex and upbeat drumbeat followed by a harp solo that could be described with similar adjectives. Each of the songs continues in a similar manner, combining acoustic guitars, bass, drums and other instruments to create a sound that, if nothing else, makes American music fun again.
Black Dog, the most popular BBQ restaurant in my hometown of Champaign, IL and #2 on Maxim’s “Top 5 BBQ Joints” in the U.S., typically runs out of Burnt Ends, the most popular item on the menu, by mid-afternoon.
Black Dog came in second on that Maxim list only to Franklin BBQ, the Austin, TX establishment that runs out of burnt ends (and, usually, all their food) by early afternoon, with lines forming early in the morning.
In certain circles, Five Iron Frenzy is the biggest band on earth. The group played Christian ska music from 1995, the height of the third wave ska era, until 2003, when they performed what was to be their final show in a sold-out Denver arena.
Of course, a band that specific has to reunite at some point. There aren’t many bands filling the void in the Christian ska punk genre, or at least not any that are as good as Five Iron.
Pelican’s Forever Becoming is the band’s fifth studio album, and their newest release since 2009’s What We All Come To Need. It’s also the first album with new guitarist Dallas Thomas, as founding member of the band Laurent Schroeder-Lebec left the group last year.
From the album’s first track, it’s clear that Schroeder-Lebec’ departure led to at least a slight departure from the sound found on the band’s last few albums. Pounding drums on the album opener suggest heaviness, but its jangling guitars dictate its lighter tone, appearing as if the new album is set up to be an expansion of the group’s lighter, more post-rock-oriented work. The crushing chords and relentless riffage of “Deny The Absolute” immediately prove that idea to be inaccurate.