July 31, 2008

Lil' Kim & Timbaland//The Jumpoff

Have you ever played Kaoroke Revolution? I bet you have. What you might not know is that there’s a slightly less prevailent version of the game that only features hip hop tracks (we used to call it Rap Rap Revolution, but the internet has informed me that this is definitely not its official name).

Katy and I always opted to select The Jumpoff in a heated game of Rap Rap Revolution, partially because it was the only Lil’ Kim song available, but mostly because it’s so awesome (Timbaland production values, anyone?). In fact, our obsession with this song became so all-encompasing that we became, for a brief time, those annoying people who got really drunk and insisted to rap a complete (if slurred) version of The Jumpoff in all manner of public spaces and events. So tough and classy! Just like Lil’ Kim herself, who once had a reality tv show about preparing to go to jail, in which a manicurist plastered her nails with ACTUAL CUT UP $100 BILLS. Money ain’t a thing; throw it out like rice.

The Jumpoff.mp3

Lil’ Kim, who appears to have had almost as much plastic surgery as Michael Jackson, is currently and hilariously being sued by Simon and Schuster for not actually writing her forthcoming autobiography, despite taking the generous advance.

Don’t worry, Kim. I still love you. And I can’t wait to read your awesome book, whenever you get around to writing it.

July 30, 2008

Badly Drawn Boy//Once Around the Block

I never really got into Badly Drawn Boy. To be honest, I think he’s kind of overrated. That said, this song is one of the best I’ve ever heard.

My friend Ali put this on one of the first mixtapes she made for me. I used to drive around listening to it or sit in my old room in my parent’s house reading and blaring it out of my boombox. It was the last summer (or extended period of time for that matter) I lived with my parents, the one between Freshman and Sophmore year of college. It was a carefree time of hanging out with home friends, mountain biking and working a crappy wage slave-y job. Ahh, suburban summer.

This song fit perfectly with how I was feeling. Catchy and upbeat, but a tinge of sad is in there somewhere (I think I knew my aimless irresponsibility couldn’t last forever). Mr. Drawn Boy also makes some unconventional sound/arrangement choices, which I can totally get down with.

Once Around the Block.mp3

This track is from Badly Drawn Boy’s breakout album, Hour of the Bewilderbeast. I suggest you copy this over to a tape and listen to it that way for max enjoyment.

BDB recently released a download only album in February called The Time of Times. More info is on his site.

Keep your heart on your sleeve and your sole in your shoes.

July 29, 2008

Metric//Combat Baby

Uh oh! It's tuesday and I'm running late because my alarm didn't go off!

In that spirit, this is a great "fuck it" song. It's a fabulous song to play at a dance party when everyone is drunk and ready to sing along to a fun chorus.

Also, this song reminds me of my friend Kot, who got unhealthily obsessed with it at some point.

Bonus: This band is Canadian.
Bonus Bonus: This band is called Metric, like the smarter, more intuitive system of measurement that we don't use.

Combat Baby.mp3

There's more at ILoveMetric. Metric plays Highline Ballroom August 8th.

Fight off the lethargy!

July 28, 2008

Silver Jews//People

Before the song of the day, some cool news! We were featured in The Metro today. Neat!

Ok, down to "business":

Oh my god! I know I’m losing cred points as I type this, but Silver Jews were one of those bands that I for some reason hesitated to check out, even after numerous friends constantly told me how much I would adore them.

Reasons they cited:
1. Steve Malkamus! Yeah, they knew how much I loved Pavement
2. Catchy smart 90s indie sound
3. “I love them, you’ll love them”

Reasons they forgot to cite:
1. They’re from New Jersey! Seriously, how did you guys miss this?

Well, another score for friends, I did start loving Silver Jews a few years ago (only 17 years late!). And I do love starting my week off with this song, off their 1998 album, American Water.


Silver Jews just released a new album last month called Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea.

People ask people to watch their scotch.
People send people up to the moon.

July 25, 2008

Lispector//Girls & Boys Make Songs

[Local! Music! Friday!]
Tell me...what is this Local Music Fridays?

I remember this burned disc getting passed all around Ann Arbor this one summer (was it 2005?). I have a feeling that Jason Voss/We’re Twins/WCBN had something to do with this phenomenon. Someone would say, “have you heard of this band Lispector? No? Let me make you a copy.” My boyfriend got a copy from someone he worked with at PFC. The album, Human Problems and How to Solve Them, was really good. It's all quirky, textured sequencer stuff with beautiful vocals and fun lyrics (there is an awesome song about the ice cream man, which I would highly endorse). Needless to say, I immediately made a tape of it so I could listen to it in my car.

Fast forward to myspacesplosion and I started corresponding with Lispector (Julie) regarding music stuff. Julie lives in France, but we got the opportunity to hang out a bit in person and play a very enjoyable show together in NYC last summer.

Thus, I send you off into your weekend with this charming track from HPAHTSOT:

Girls & Boys Make Songs.mp3

Lispector just released a new album called Guide to Personal Happiness. You can hear more Lispector here.

July 24, 2008

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings//How Long Do I Have to Wait for You?

How long do I have to wait for the weekend? Just one more day, actually!

Yeah, it’s Thursday. What better way to celebrate the impending two days of freedom than with the soulful sounds of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. This amazing Brooklyn band sounds so much like authentic late 60s/70s soul/funk that it’s almost unbelievable that they are a contemporary band recording in today’s mostly digital world.

I first heard the album Naturally on vinyl out of a little standalone box player a few years ago at a friend’s house. I was instantly blown away by the sound quality, the hooks and the sheer power of Jones’ performance.

How Long Do I Have to Wait for You.mp3

Because they use only analog recording equipment, they sound just as fantastic live as they do on tape. Jones is a dynamic soul diva and the 10 Dap Kings never miss a note or a beat. I had the privilege of seeing them last year at Castle Clinton, part of the River to River fest. Unfortunately, it just came to my attention that I have to miss out on their NYC Summer Stage show this year (Aug 16 @ Central Park) –but you shouldn’t!

July 23, 2008

Erlend Øye//Athlete

I bought this Erlend Øye album used from an Oxfam in North London. The sad lyrics and electronic groove was perfect for my London day-to-day existence, comprised solely of solo melancholy wandering and all-night queer dance parties.

You might know the Norwegian Øye from his work as one half of the saddest band ever, Kings of Convenience…or from one of his other projects, which include The Whitest Boy Alive, Röyksopp and James Figurine.

On his 2003 solo album, Unrest, he traveled the world working with the most esteemed international techno/electronic/dance producers to create an collection of hits. Here is one of my favorites from this glorious selection of tracks.


Take ecstasy and dance around the room for me.

July 22, 2008

The Go-Betweens//Cattle and Cane

A few years ago, I went to visit some very dear friends in Chicago. They were both obsessed with this unfamiliar late 70s Australian post punkish band called The Go-Betweens. We drove around a lot listening to them and I was instantly hooked.

The sound and songs remind me a bit of The Smiths, but they’re a little less simpering than the usual Morrissey fare (not that I don’t love The Smiths—don’t get me wrong).

Cattle and Cane is probably my favorite on this not-a-bad-song-on-it retrospective, which I would highly recommend that you pick up.

Cattle and Cane.mp3

I recall a bigger brighter world...

July 21, 2008

Aesop Rock//No Regrets

Listening to Aesop Rock reminds me of driving around during the summer of 2006, blaring hip hop mixtapes out of my silver two-door piece-of-shit Hyundai, going to the lake with all my friends for a day of swimming or making a run across state lines to buy illegal fireworks. Those were the days.

This song happens to capture not only an excellent summertime groove, but also a lot of deep reflection on what it means to be an artist or an outcast in our modern society. This song is about purpose and viewing your life as an opportunity to actualize a vision. Of course, the perfectly crafted lyrics also make note of the isolation that can come with this drive. The creative in all of us can identify with Lucy’s plight, which is at once pretty and a bit melancholy.

No Regrets.mp3

You can catch Aesop Rock live at McCarren Park Pool on August 17th. He’s also on tour this summer elsewhere in the US.

Now, get to the lake for me.

July 18, 2008

Matt Jones//Hand Out the Drugs

[Local! Music! Friday!]

On Fridays, I will be featuring local music, but it will be my own brand of local music. Living in NYC pretty much eliminates “local music” because this place is just too dang big to have a scene. As a result, the local music I feature here will be local to my life, which is to say, I’ll be posting music of people I know personally, through national and global music scenes, through life, through love, through travel (CHEESY!). That said, please do not confuse the word “local” with the word “bad” or the words “second tier.” The music that goes up on Friday is the best music you’ve never heard. This is top notch song-writing, performance and production from some seriously talented musicians and bands.

My first Local Music Friday pick is Matt Jones. I’ve known Matt for a long time now, probably about 6 or 7 years. I can’t remember when I first met him. Probably at some crazy Ann Arbor Co.op party or at a little show at Crazy Wisdom. Matt’s been involved in some amazing music over the years, including Descent of the Holy Ghost Church and Misty Lyn and the Big Beautiful. He helped us out a lot when we were doing the second Dumb and Ugly Club album. Somehow between all his projects, he’s made time to write and record a number of amazing songs under his own name. Matt’s a fantastic guitarist, singer (he’s oft been likened to Jeff Buckley), drummer (he once told me, “Gina, I am a very good drummer” and it was not just the typical musician boast—he’s got the fills to back up his statement) and songwriter (warning: some of these songs will make you weep). He’s also just an awesome guy.
Hand Out the Drugs is one of my all time favorite songs (and is also a good way to wrap up my week, and probably yours too).

Hand Out the Drugs.mp3

Matt Jones is playing two shows this weekend in NYC. One is tonight at SoundFix, the other is tomorrow night at Dominies Hoek in LIC.

I challenge you not to fall in love.

July 17, 2008

Gal Costa//Sebastiana

Tropicalia refers to Tropicalismo, a widely diverse cultural movement that sprang from urban 1960s Brazil. The best thing about the sound is the combination of old and new. A tenant of Tropicalia is cultural cannibalism, which is defined as the consumption of all possible cultural products and then repurposing those products into art that makes sense in a specific cultural context. 

I first became interested in Tropicalia through a class I took about South American culture and political movements. Our instructor was very interested in the music of Tropicalia, and turned us on to all sorts of amazing musicians, including Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Os Mutantes. I became instantly fascinated. In combination with scouring the internet for whatever I could find, I was also on the hunt for new or old records and cd re-issues of my favorites from this genre. This is how I happened upon one of many excellent Soul Jazz comps, Tropicalia—a Brazillian Revolution in Sound, which features one of my favorite tracks by my absolute favorite Tropicalia artist, Gal Costa.

Consume everything!

July 16, 2008

Thao Nguyen and the Get Down Stay Down//Bag of Hammers

I have a feeling that Thao Nguyen and the Get Down Stay Down’s album, We Brave Bee Stings and All, is probably going to be my favorite album of the year. Every song is pretty much amazing. So amazing, in fact, that my first listen a few months ago prompted me to email all my closest friends and demand that they check it out. Key word: demand. This doesn’t happen everyday.

Bag of Hammers.mp3

Consider this my personal note to you on this band. They're a fun show and their album is flawless.

July 15, 2008

Ra Ra Riot//Each Year

This band is much blogged and this song is just so much fun.

Each Year.mp3

They will be playing The Village Voice’s annual Siren Fest in Coney island this Saturday. Heck, they may even be coming to a city near you soon!

Ra Ra Riot Tourdates

July 14, 2008

The Breeders//One Divine Hammer

The Purpose of this Blog is One Sweet Song per business day. No fuss. No bullshit. Just one cool song, fully downloadable, right here for you. There may be exceptions, but we'll keep them to a minimum.

Let's start on Bastille Day, 2008.

In celebration of what a great in.store The Breeders played on Friday here in NYC, this is a song near and dear to my heart.

Divine Hammer.mp3

Start your playlist here.