Monthly Archives: January 2012
Over the weekend I saw Rubblebucket at the Bowery Ballroom with the lovely L.Jones. When we walked got into the venue, I learned we showed up an hour and a half before Rubblebucket started, but luckily was entranced by their second opener, Superhuman Happiness. Formed in 2008, this band that “looked like a bunch of Dads” rocked the Bowery with a dynamic and exciting show, setting the bar high for Rubblebucket. Self described as “physical, cinematic, dance rock,” Happiness had a palpable energy and it was evident they were having just as much fun, or even more so, than the crowd was. Check out one of their tracks below,
“Needles and Pins,” off of their 2011 EP, The Physical EP.
Superhuman Happiness – Needles and Pins
Bon Iver, aka Justin Vernon, the indie superstar, has recently been featured on a new song by the traditional Irish band, The Cheiftains, on their new album Voice of Ages, out on Feburary 21. The Cheiftains new album celebrates their 50th year of being a band by collaborating with some of today’s top folk artists. Teaming up with Bon Iver on this beautiful track, the Cheiftains Irish style of fiddles and smooth strings blends perfectly with Justin’s soft voice. I had never heard about the Cheiftains before, but I will definitely look out for their new album after hearing this. Enjoy. – D. Gold
I know that a lot of people find the whole 80s music scene a little kitschy and campy as far as rock goes, but I’ve always been a sucker for those intense rock ballads that found their way into every 80s movie ever. Dreamers Of The Ghetto pay tribute to this sound on their debut album Enemy/Lover. The album opens with the instrumental “Antenna,” a synth intro that pulls you into the album like a radio signal droning out in the night. But the album quickly moves onto more upbeat rockier songs like, “State of Dreams” and one of my favorite songs on the album, “Connection.” A song full of urgency and satisfaction at the same time, “Connection” is the love ballad Bono wishes he had written. Singer Luke Johnson sings to his wife Lauren (who is also a member of the band), “When you’re gone I know you’re with me,” knowing that they share a bond that can’t be broken no matter what obstacles they face. And he sings it with the authentic passion of a gospel singer. The next song, “Regulator” reminds me of the heartland rock made famous by artists like John Mellencamp (who is coincidentally also from Indiana). The album continues is this way, making use of steady drums, rock guitar, and synthesizers used to amplify the feeling of every song in a way that I’ve never before heard (see “Always”). The final song, “Tether” serves to sum up the band in about 7.5 minutes, a tough task, by making full use of these instrumentations complete with the gospel-esque choral parts and extraterrestrial lyrics. As far as debut albums go, this is an amazing effort. Enemy/Lover isn’t afraid to set the clock back a few years to when songs like, “I Do It For You” were acceptable and Depeche Mode was hip. It’s a powerful dose of medicine from a family band that reminds the listener that rock can be fun and powerful. Check out some of my favorites below and get yourself a copy of Enemy/Lover ASAP.
Dreamers Of The Ghetto – Tether:
Some artists pop into my life over and over again. Usually, I just let it slide because there’s so much other music I’m listening to and if the artist is really good I’ll probably hear about them later. Right? Well this was definitely the case for Laura Marling. My friend first showed me a cover song by her several years ago and since then she’s really grown as an artist. On her lastest album, A Creature I Don’t Know, Marling creates some of the best folk ballads of the century. Her sound is mature and sophisticated, yet fun at the same time. I never get tired of the quiet finger-picked intros that transform into clamorous songs of joy and motion, like the song “Sophia.” Some songs even have a twang of country mixed in. And vocally, Laura Marling reminds me of some of the greatest folk artists from the 60s like Joni Mitchel and Joan Baez. Her voice is melancholy and classic (see title track). It’s rare that a folk album makes me want to get up and take a long drive down an empty road. I’m sorry I didn’t give Marling the attention she deserved, but with this album, I will. Check out “Sophia” from A Creature I Don’t Know below and be sure to hear the album which came out last September.
Laura Marling – Sophia:
Andrew Bird has recently released the track “Eyeoneye” off his upcoming album, Break it Yourself. Catchy and intense, “Eyeoneye” is a sharp contrast from Andrew Bird’s more folky and acoustic tunes. However, he still maintains the beauty while delivering a more raw and visceral passion that has me looking forward to the rest of the album coming out March 6th. Also, for those who buy a ticket to his upcoming tour, you can get a digital download of his album as well as two live EPs.
“Eyeoneye” – Andrew Bird
It is no surprise to say that rap has changed and nowadays you can hear anyone and everyone embracing the art of hiphop. Across the seas, you can even find an Austrian rapper, who calls himself Left Boy, spitting slick frat raps over catchy indie beats, like the Pirates of the Caribbean‘s theme song and Lana Del Ray’s “Video Games“. Not taking himself too seriously, Left Boy raps about “Smoking Dro, like Jack Sparrow” on his Pirates themed song, “Jack Sparrow” and drops endless video-game references on his Lana Del Ray track, “Video Games.” With a solid flow and catchy choruses, Left Boy has created fun songs that can get stuck in your head and allow for multiple repeat plays. Check my favorites below. If you like, check out his website for the free download. – D. Gold
Here’s a great new indie outfit from New Jersey named Vows. This duo of the Crystal Mountain Music Collection somehow manage to create an all encompassing sound that reminds me a little of Okkervil River’s newest album. Their music is full and welcoming, drawing the listener into their dreamy vibes of jangly guitars and romance. Their debut album, which came out last April showcases these musical skills as it shifts from loud and heavier tunes like “parallel” to quiet love songs like, “Two Sunrises.” Though released in the spring, this is a great album to brighten up your dark winter days. Check out a few of my favorites below and be sure to give Winter’s Grave a listen.
Vows – Parallel
Vows – Queen Baby
There’s snow on the ground and a cold chill in the air and with it, Tour De Vaap’s 4th mixtape. In this installment, we tried to bring you some of our favorite winter songs of the last few years. The songs rang from folk to electronic, but all of them give you that feeling that it’s time to bundle up with some hot cocoa by the fireplace and warm yourself up with some good music. Check out the tracklist and the mix after the break (individual songs to come later). Enjoy
-The Collective Tour
“Can you teach me how to dance real slow?”
Twenty-one year old Australian Oliver Tank burst into the electronic scene in November 2011 with Dreams, a six track album that is entrancing the whole way through. His repetition of mantra-like lyrics has been compared to none other than James Blake and Bon Iver. “Up All Night,” the first track of the album, where Tank uses intoxicating harmonies with an open rhythm to pull you sweetly into Dreams.
-M.Hoff & Broah on the Mic
Up All Night – Oliver Tank
Schoolboy Q has just released his sophomore rap album, Habits & Contradictions. His first album, Setbacks, was released a year ago and was fairly successful, but yet, I, personally, only sort-of knew his name, being one of the rappers in the group, Black Hippy, with Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar and Ab-Soul. Listening to his new album, its easy to see the comparison to Kendrick Lamar in flow and vocals. Yet, his choice in beats is very different from that of Kendrick’s album, Section 80. With some obscure and some well-known samples, along with heavy bass and electronic vibes, similar to the Weeknd, Schoolboy Q has a unique approach to rap. In addition, with features from A$AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar, and Curren$y, Schoolboy Q is well connected to game and knows who can spit and on what track. My favorite tracks are “Hands on the Wheel”, sampling Kid Cudi’s popular “Pursuit of Happiness” and featuring an incredible verse from A$AP Rocky and “There He Go“, a fun song showing off Schoolboy’s flow with the beat sampling indie band Menomena’s “Wet and Rusting.” The album is very well put together and Schoolboy is rapper to look out for. Listen to the songs below and if you like, support the artist by purchasing the album on iTunes.
Schoolboy Q – Hands on the Wheel
Schoolboy Q – There He Go