Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Boyz

Who: New Boyz

Hail From: Los Angeles, CA

Label: Asylum/Warner Bros

Active from: 2009

Sounds Like: Cool Kids rip off, but lyrically more 80s centric

The Cool Kids opened up the road for Hip Hop to go back to its roots. Taking us back before Gangster Rap and hip hop’s current manifestation and infatuation with money, bling and status. Taking us back to when hip hop was fun. It was about kids entertaining themselves. Yes, a lot of underground hip hop kept that beat alive. There are tons of great intelligent fun hip hop out there. See Jurassic 5, Blackalicious or even their MC Gift Gab. However, I think it took our culture’s current crush of their fantasy version of the 80’s along with music’s continuing respect for its roots. Bring in the new youth and here you go. Out in Cali a hybrid of breakdancing called jerkin had developed. It basically is poppin with more focus on the lower body and foot work. The New Boyz have brought that dance into the lime light with "You're a Jerk." I love their lyrics. It is very reminiscent of UTFO. There are insults flying back and forth but they are all in good fun. They are also making it their own. Hip hop in SKINNY Jeans...the hipster look has invaded hip hop my friends....look at those bright ass 80's colors. Check'em out:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Who: Tiga

Hail From: Montreal, Canada

Label: Turbo Recordings

Active from: 2001 to current

Sounds Like: Pants off Dance off

I've had this album for awhile and Shoes is by far my favorite track. For whatever reason I'm just getting around to seeing the video. I am loving it!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Lightning Dust

Who: Lightning Dust

Hail From: Vancouver, British Columbia

Label: Jagjaguwar

Active from: 2007 to current

Sounds like: Indie pop with heavy 60's folk leanings, sung while sitting on a washing machine on spin cycle.

Lightning Dust is the side project of Amber Webber and Joshua Wells of Black Mountain. Lightning Dust was created to challenge themselves and to go for a completely different sound. Amber states she was looking to explore her goth side. She went for a "more theatrical sounding" vocal which I guess means MORE VIBRATO! Throughout the whole album you'll flirt between being annoyed by it and easily dismissing it's effect on the song. Still for some reason, probably my soft spot for 60's female folk, I totally dig their new album, Infinite Light

Lightning Dust - I Knew

Wild Beast

Wild Beast

Hail From: Kendal, UK

Label: Domino Records

Active from: 2006 to current

Sounds like: Jimmy Somerville got a gig with a modern atmospheric indie rock band

I think my "Sounds like" says almost everything you need to know to decide if you want to check them out. Their sophomore full length album, Two Dancers, comes out fully to the US 9/8 (was available earlier on eMusic). The lead singer, and Jimmy Somerville impersonator, is named in true soap opera style, Hayden Thrope. So far my favorite track is Hooting and Howling due to it poetic description of guys fighting over girls, but also just to fucking fight. This is definitely a band worth checking out the lyrics on:

Carry me hooting and howling, to the river to wash off my hands of the hot blood, the sweat and the sand.
Any rival who goes for our girls will be left thumb sucking in terror and bereft of all coffin bearers.
A crude art, a bovver boot ballet – equally elegant and ugly.
I was as thrilled as I was appalled, courting him in fisticuffing waltz.
Now I’m not saying the lads always deserve a braying.
And I’m not saying the girls are worth the fines I’m paying.
We’re just brutes bored in our bovver boots. We’re just brutes clowning ‘round in cahoots. We’re just brutes looking for shops to loot. We’re just brutes hoping to have a hoot…
Hooting, hooting and howling.

I fell in love with the song when the phrase "equally elegant and ugly" strummed across my ear hole.

Wild Beast - Hooting and Howling

This next video is off their 1st album and shows a lighter hearted side. Hayden Thorpe's vocals on this one are almost laughable at 1st but still a good song. Slightly hypnotic (read almost seizure inducing) fun visuals on this one. Hypsters and their bad mustaches are funnny.....and sometimes damn cute.

Wild Beasts - Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants

Bonus Material
For those not in the know, Jimmy Somerville, was the original lead singer of Bronski Beat who later moved on to moderately successful carriers as the lead singer in The Communards and as a solo artist. Check out Bronski Beat's hit Smalltown Boy (1984) and tell me if you don't hear the vocal simularities.

As always comments are encouraged

Friday, September 4, 2009

The xx

Who: The xx

Hail From: South West London, UK

Label: XL / Beggars Group

Active from: 2005 to current

Sounds like:
Slightly sparse electric haunted 80's influenced

I found it a bit hard to describe this band. Not that they are that radically different. They do feel vaguely familiar, but every time I almost think of who they may remind me it evades me again. Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim frequently take turns on vocals in most of the songs, but also play instruments as well. One of the things I think I like best about this group is its use of negative space. They don't feel the need to fill up every second with sound. It doesn't feel rushed, too spaced out, or even sad. I guess the best description would be melodic indie pop. It may take a second listen to really fall for them, but once you do....Check out the following videos. They are coming to Austin, on November 19, be there, I know I will.