Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Game, featuring Tyler The Creator and Lil' Wayne - Martians Vs. Goblins

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Good stuff, despite the fact that Halloween was two months ago. Tyler, The Creator is about six months and three guest verses from being the Next Huuuuuuuuge MC. Which will be a lot of fun to watch cause the crazy religious groups are gonna go nuts!

Odd Future, members of which have been getting attention all year, are likely going to have a big big big 2012. Get acquainted now if you haven't already. It's worth your time, AND you'll look hip in the new year.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Trent Reznor & Karen O - "Immigrant Song"

Hot on the heels of Trent Reznor discussing in an interview that the full length debut from How To Destroy Angels is being mixed as we speak, and that 2012 may - MAY - hold the promise of something new from Nine Inch Nails, comes a video to match one of two Reznor-produced covers. (The other is U2's "Zoo Station," recorded for a tribute marking the 20th anniversary of that band's classic Achtung Baby.)

I wasn't sure about Reznor and Karen O, with production help from Atticus Ross, covering the Led Zeppelin classic "Immigrant Song," but it's grown on me a lot. The noise, her voice, the cold electro-ness of the whole thing. I want to suffocate in it. That's at least a little bit because their version of the song sounds like the soundtrack to a movie murder collage, but whatever. I'm sure Karen O would make it a fun way to day.

Instead, this somewhat frightening video, directed by David Fincher to open The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, his new movie that opens next week, will have to do. Good thing it gets better with multiple plays - just like the song itself.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Slow Death - Sorry Sam

The Slow Death - Sorry Sam.mp3 Listen on Posterous

The number of bands hitting their self-deprecating, double-time punk stride is growing day by day. In fact, I don't know the last time I heard a new band do the mid-90s skate punk thing - it's almost like they've scaled it back to just blasting stuff out instead of trying to play as fast as humanly possible. 

I've got a bunch these kind of bands that'll be posted here in the next couple weeks, but today it's
The Slow Death who bring together members of Pretty Boy Thorson and the Falling Angels, the Tampa-based Rest of Us, and the hugely-missed (at least by me) The Ergs as they rampage their way around the country.

I’m not gonna muck this up too much. The album "Sorry Sam" comes from, Born Ugly Got Worse, in all its 12-song glory, is a somewhat gruff pop-punk blast of catharsis. It works, you know?

Pay what you want for The Slow Death’s new album, Born Ugly Got Worse, at Kiss of Death Records.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Radiohead - "A Wolf at the Door (It girl. Rag doll)"

Radiohead - A Wolf at the Door (It girl. Rag doll).mp3 Listen on Posterous

The first song I heard in the car this morning was “Planet Telex,” the first track on The Bends, Radiohead’s second album. I did not intend to post about Radiohead this morning. Yet I found myself, this evening, flipping through their discography, from The Bends itself, up through various b-side collections and finally to Hail to the Thief and In Rainbows.

I’m not sure what I was looking for tonight, and I’m not sure if I found it, but I had a realization this afternoon that I spent most of my 20s being as lazy as humanly possible - this despite working 50- and 60-hour weeks at several jobs, being married and having three children, and working on and off on other stuff. Just because you are busy or working a lot does not mean you're actually accomplishing anything. I've done some stuff. I'm not sure I've gotten anything done though.

The on and off part is what bothers me too. That’s the part that isn’t good enough. Sure, I’m a bitter, ah, Millennial or late Gen Y or... It doesn’t matter. The point is, I’m one of these young people that isn’t happy. I know how much of it is my fault, and from the work I've done, I also know that the greedy schmucks a generation before me have sucked everything dry. I blame both, also knowing full well that if my personal version of lazy had not been so well engineered, I might be better off. 

It's not lazy on any level to work those kinds of hours. But if you're not meeting any goals, or enough of them, to push forward to some kind of larger something, then it's pretty much just life masturbation, no?

So, as I let the Radiohead discography flow, the “what happened” of “15 Step” is the perfect alternative to “Just” insisting that “you do it to yourself.” But there’s more, because being lazy is not just something that magically happens, without you noticing. It’s that you let it happen, you let it consume you, and by the time you realize it, it’s done. 

The reality is that you fight it or succumb in the hope that eventually you’ll come out of it. My 22-year-old self would be livid if I could separate him out, like the white from the yolk of an egg. I've heard that your 20s are made for this sort of thing, and nobody really gets serious until they turn 30 anyway. I don't know if it's true but suddenly I feel like a didn't milk a few years hard enough - and maybe that is as it should be.

“A Wolf at the Door” feels like cold water in the face. Or the alarm. Better yet, it's your car hitting the back of the one in front of you because you refused to look up from something far less important than driving. Maybe I've got Thom Yorke's lyrics all misunderstood and turned them into something for myself. I don't care, and hopefully he'll understand that I don't care.

Since the track is from Hail To The Thief, everybody can sound like a Radiohead genius for knowing it, because so many love to dump on what was essentially a superb album completely unlike what people wanted to hear from the band. Actually, it’s better than that. I’m not going to make the case for Hail To the Thief at this point though.

Anyway, there it is. Thanks for the insight, Radiohead.

Drag him out your window

Dragging out your dead

Singing I miss you

Snakes and ladders

Flip the lid

Out pops the cracker

Smacks you in the head

Knifes you in the neck

Kicks you in the teeth

Steel toe caps

Takes all your credit cards

Get up get the gunge

Get the eggs

Get the flan in the face

The flan in the face

The flan in the face

Dance you fucker dance you fucker

Don't you dare

Don't you dare

Don't you flan in the face

Take it with the love is given

Take it with a pinch of salt

Take it to the taxman

Let me back let me back

I promise to be good

Don't look in the mirror

At the face you don't recognize

Buy Radiohead’s Hail To The Thief at Amazon.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Ettes - Red In Tooth and Claw

The Ettes - Red In Tooth and Claw.mp3 Listen on Posterous

The Ettes were not a new concept for me when I saw them at The Black Cat in Washington, D.C., on September 4. I had heard a few mp3s, watched a video or two on YouTube. You know, not an obsession, but certainly not a real familiarity.

The crowd, which felt to be about the same number of people from start to finish, though I was up against the stage the whole time so I can’t be too sure, stood through The Bam Bams, who were intense, especially their super-focused drummer who smiled through the entire set, and Friends, who channeled parts of the 80s I’m glad I wasn’t all that into during my single-digit years of life.

Coco, Poni and Jem finally took the stage after this mix and proceeded to pound the shit out of the audience. Like, whoa.

When it comes to pounding, really, Poni is an animal. By “is an animal,” I mean she has certain qualities that set apart her favorite drummer, Animal, from the rest of the pack. Hanging over her set, while abusing the kick drum especially, she supplies a backbone that most bands would kill for.

The bassist is often the sane guy in the band - Flea notwithstanding - and Gem covers that. His playing also often has a guitar-like quality. He looks like the coolest mother fucker in the room. The band obviously has something to do with it.

Which brings me to Coco. When she howls, and her eyes roll back in her head before she starts pounding her guitar again, it’s hard not to fall in love for a second. The woman is fronting a ferocious punk band, and she sounds like the kind of “let’s fuck and move on” rock star that Robert Plant embodied. And like Plant, she’s got a few lyrics that cover that exactly.

This whole beat punk thing, that's their word, and which seems pretty accurate, finds the band’s albums progressively mellowing in speed, but maintaining heaviness. And everything is faster in concert anyway, resulting in a now two-month obsession over the full four album discography of The Ettes.

What I’ve come away with - full disclosure, I’m listening to their third album, “Do You Want Power” for the third time today, of which “Red In Tooth and Claw” is the first track - is that The Ettes, with Coco as their center-piece, are ahead of all the rock bands aping old sounds. They’ve taken from punk, 60s whatever, and country just enough to turn out a sound that doesn’t really sound like anybody else. Which is probably why their discography has remained on repeat since that night in DC.

Buy The Ettes album Do You Want Power, and the rest of their discography, at Amazon.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Friday, October 21, 2011

Astronautalis & DJ Fishr Pryce - Mr. Blessington's Imperialist Plot (remix)

Astronautalis & DJ Fishr Pryce - Mr. Blessington's Imperialist Plot (remix).mp3 Listen on Posterous

Let's get this show back on the road, yes? It's been a minute since the Mop has cleared a floor as your (not so) humble record pusher worked himself through a word block of sorts. I know writer's block is BS to people who don't write but when you're just writing the same thing over and over and even you stop finding it interesting, well... Anyway, having been kicked in the face for weeks as two of my closest people lay down some great words for the masses, I think it's time. There is nothing more inspiring for a writer to get at it than being surrounded by other writers. 

The first track back is a mixtape mashup. We've posted a selection from the mind-expanding mixtape Astronautilus and DJ Fishr Pryce dropped earlier this year, and this morning, on the way to work "Mr. Blessington's Imperialist Plot" spoke to me.

The original version of this track is bit softer and more menacing, where here, Gaga suggests a covert strategy for blackmailing oneself to the top of an office hierarchy: pa- pa- pa- poker face, pa- pa- pa- poker face.

That's the way it's done in real life, right? Step on everybody on the way up, and then step on them on the way down? Boots on the ground people.

This is probably where I should use a superhero reference about getting back in action and making it happen but considering the subject matter of this first post back, I'm going with a villain: "This town needs an enema, and this mop has a long damn stick." Brace yourselves.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Friday, July 8, 2011

DJ Shadow - I'm Excited (ft Afrikan Boy)

Fears about the new album from DJ Shadow are slowly alleviating for me. "I'm Excited" features a bouncing, galloping, dancey beat and an infectious "I'm excited" refrain between verses from Afrikan Boy. This is nothing like Endtroducing..., which is finally OK, because this track is a place I actually like going to.

This is a wonderful Friday afternoon gift, if you ask me, cause it makes me want to leave work now and get the party started. Check it:

"I'm Excited" goes on sale August 1, and the new full length, "The Less You Know The Better," is out September 5.

Buy more music from DJ Shadow at his website.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

First flyer is out for the 23rd Annual Swing for Seniors Golf Tournament at Woodmont in Tamarac. We've got a new venue and lots of stuff on tap for this thing. Save the date NOW!


The Aging and Disability Resource Center of Broward County, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that helps educate seniors on services and assistance they are eligible for (and also my employer), is gearing up for the 23rd Annual Swing for Seniors Golf Tournament at Woodmont Country Club in Tamarac, FL.

Prizes and perks to be announced soon...........................

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Lonely Island - Rocky

Rocky by The Lonely Island Listen on Posterous

Comedy rap seems a little repetitive considering that a lot of the best lines to come out of any MC's mouth are the hysterically funny ones. In the case of The Lonely Island, though, since there's nothing serious about them, at all, and it works. Hard.

Turtleneck & Chain finds the boys of Lonely Island mostly rapping about being dorks. Weak dorks, at that. I mean, really, mom harassing you while you're trying to record bad-ass rap songs? Too shy to perform? A pimp who gets murdered by Rocky before AND after picking up men and women? Yeah, there's 19 tracks on this thing that sound strange in traffic. But when Rihanna sings the words "boner alert," you'll love the looks you get from other cars. That's a true story, by the way. Some guy in an SUV was really wondering about me while waiting to get on the highway. Awesome.

As good as the album is, you've got to respect Lorne Michaels for allowing Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, and Akiva Schaffer to use the album tracks for digital shorts on SNL. It's almost like MTV in the 90s where, before you grab the record, you've heard a few great ones. Unlike a lot of the shite that MTV pimped in the 90s, the rest of this album delivers too.

Samberg, Taccone and Schaffer have been doing, basically, well, this for more than a decade, starting when they were in high school. At this point they're really good at it. And though it's not lifechanging, Turtleneck & Chain, for all the seriousness behind Justin Timberlake suggesting everybody get down with everybody else's mothers, asks the most important question there is these days: Why so serious?

Buy The Lonely Island's Turtleneck & Chain at Amazon.
And if you don't already have it, grab Incredibad too. "Natalie's Rap," with Natalie Portman, is a revelation. For real.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Beastie Boys - Crazy Ass Shit

Crazy Ass Shit by Beastie Boys Listen on Posterous

I didn't detect any of the "have they still got it" or "have they still got anything" or "I fear it's going to suck really baaaaaaaaaad" in the lead-up to Hot Sauce Committee Part Two's release three weeks ago. That's what I heard for weeks leading up to the release of To The Five Boroughs in 2004, and then "it's way better than I thought - like, really good" almost universally. After the release of two tracks on the Super Surprise EP last year, and especially "Make Some Noise," the potential for a good Beastie Boys album turned into an expectation this time around.

More than one review has pointed out places that Hot Sauce Committee Part Two sounds like Check Your Head but it's hard not to hear echoes of Hello Nasty throughout too. For all the effects and live-playing a la 1992, what a lot of it adds up to is the bouncing, playful sound of 1998. The combination works well on an album that finds the Beasties sticking to a single subject: Just how bad-ass they are.

"Nonstop Disco Powerpack" has a refreshingly familiar "Pass The Mic" vibe, and "Make Some Noise" is perfectly in line with "Intergalactic" and "Ch-check It Out" as lead singles from a new Beastie Boys album meant to get the party started. For any reminders of Beasties history, and, as always there are plenty, this is no rehash - and not even in the Check-Your-Head-and-Ill-Communication-sound-the-same kind of way.

Aside from distorting their vocals way too often - I mean, really, it's going to take twice as long to memorize the lyrics now - this could be another instrumental album. Unlike the uber-jazz of The Mix-Up, this is a hip hop album in every way, from samples to scratching to outros that are often better than the beat actually rapped over in the song. Even if the rhymes weren't as referential as they are, and it's often references that are old school, or just old, but in a good way, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two is perfect for those hung up on the instrumentals of Madlib, Diplo or Oh No, among others.

The only reason the Beastie Boys aren't still the tastemakers they were throughout the 90s is because it's been six years since their last album and this is a very different world. The Beastie Boys are still the Beastie Boys though, their universe is still vastly more cool than anything we live out here, and the occasional glimpse still makes some of us hope to get halfway there one day.

Buy Hot Sauce Committee Part Two directly from the Beastie Boys.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Goldfinger - Get Up

Get Up by Goldfinger Listen on Posterous

I have a friend who bought the Sublime classic 40 oz To Freedom on the strength of their cover of Bad Religion's "We're Only Gonna Die." He was disappointed in the record - the expectation was for hardcore, not the ska-reggae-punk hybrid Sublime did so well - and returned it to Sam Goody in exchange for the first Goldfinger album.

While I came around to 40 oz..., to the point that it's a desert island album for me, that Goldfinger album remains a top party record. That's a smiling, dancing, let's get moving kind of album. And there's nothing groundbreaking about Goldfinger. Goldfinger is some ska, some punk, and just poppy enough that the masses understood it enough to buy at least that first effort.

As ska's few moments in the limelight faded, so did the attention lavished on Goldfinger. It's sad, considering that the band has continued to pump out great records, including 2008's Hello Destiny, which is what this track comes off of. In the meantime, they've become more involved in working with other bands (lead singer John Feldmann has worked with The Used, Story of the Year and Good Charlotte, among others), and they've got some social awareness now as well.

"Get Up" is pretty clearly about animal rights, one of the bands chief causes. That being what it is, I think it's a pretty good rallying cry too, especially on a suddenly slow-moving Tuesday afternoon when a shot of espresso and snappy ska-punk track is the only thing that'll do...

Buy Hello Destiny from Amazon.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Monday, May 16, 2011

DJ Shadow - I Gotta Rokk

I Gotta Rokk (Lp Version) by Dj Shadow Listen on Posterous

For the most part, pop music has gone dance. That is, many of the pop "tarts" as they have been referred to for the last several years - that's artists such as Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Rihanna and especially Britney Spears - have started making their tracks either dance floor ready or braced for a mild remix that will finish the job of taking it from morning drive-time radio to boozy humping dance floor anthem.
In the world of Josh Davis, it must be 1997. All the remixes on the I Gotta Rokk EP are drum 'n bass, as is "Def Surrounds Us," which might as well have come off Plug's classic Drum 'n bass For Papa. "I Gotta Rokk" is the midpoint of the late 90s sounds of The Chemical Brothers and Prodigy: Heavy, live-sounding drums; samples buried in the mix; and power chords taking it a little metal. This could pass for early Propellerheads or Monkey Mafia efforts. I mean this all in a good way, though I don't know how many people still want to hear any of those names. Do YOU know anybody planning to buy that live Prodigy DVD out this week? Do you even know it was coming out? That's all I'm saying.
I bet there are a lot expecting The Less You Know The Better, due out in September, a sound moored in that of "I've Been Trying," the second track on the I Gotta Rokk EP, which draws on the funk and R&B sampling hip hop Davis has built his legend on. There's a good chance the album is going to be split between that and the clearly techno-leaning stuff, which could be a good thing. On all of the new, bouncy-beat areas being explored here, the new track and two pseudo-new tracks (they were released last September), are dense and should not be easily dismissed. 
Scanning comments on posts and stories about this and the other two songs there seems to be disappointment already, which I can understand. But before writing this I listened to the first two albums, in full. While it's possible there's another Private Press in there, I can almost guarantee he'll never make another Endtroducing... Which is fine. These three tracks sound like Davis is trying stuff out again instead of contributing to a scene. Hyphy-be-gone, they sound like a DJ Shadow album. Excellent.

Also, his old drum 'n bass stuff was pretty good anyway, you know? I think this is going to be good.
Buy the I Gotta Rokk EP directly from the DJ Shadow website.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Queens of the Stone Age - Hanging Tree

Hangin' Tree by Queens Of The Stone Age Listen on Posterous

I've spent a lot of time making the case that Dave Grohl is the bet drummer alive. Now, I know there are all sorts of metal drummers that have sick proficiency, and there are guys like Vinnie Paul, Travis Barker and this guy (and yes, the guy from Rush too), but give me a second here.

From "Scentless Apprentice" to "Red War" (among others) on the Probot album to "Hanging Tree," Grohl has the technical stuff down. What he's got over all those other guys is a combination of luck and the ability to write, or at least play on, songs that capture well beyond the niche his band exists in, be it a pretty mass market rock band like Foo Fighters or a low-key display of love such as Probot, which is anything but low-key anyway. 
I can vividly remember several conversations in 2002 and 2003 that centered around QUOTSA's third album, Songs For The Deaf, and Grohl's work on it. The songs, from lyrics to grooves, are on par with Rated R, the universally-acclaimed predecessor to Songs for The Deaf. The big difference, though, is the man pounding the skins.
Many of those conversations would start after the end of "Hanging Tree," the last 30 seconds of which is some fast pounding, not that the rest of the song isn't, but the whiplash from that part makes you look back over the former Nirvana drummer's career. At this point, ten years after "Hanging Tree" was even released, you've got Probot, several Foo Fighters albums, the Nine Inch Nails album With Teeth, and, possibly most notably, the self-titled album from Them Crooked Vultures.
Teaming with QUOTSA's Josh Homme and Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, the trio evoke images of all three of their primary bands, but when Jones started telling interviewers how much Grohl reminded him of playing with Zeppelin drummer John Bonham something became clear: Like most of humanity, that guy's day job isn't even what he's best at.
Buy Songs For The Deaf from Queens of the Stone Age at Amazon.
And please, for the love of Lemmy, if you've got an argument on what living person is a better drummer, make it, don't just shake your head in disgust.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Black Lips - Modern Art

Modern Art by Black Lips Listen on Posterous

The Black Lips are America's party band. Sure, most of the country doesn't know who they are, but nobody objects to the Black Lips. Nobody. Test it out. Put on a record and see what happens.

My introduction, like many, I'm sure, was via their Vice Records debut, the exquisitely messy Los Valientes del Mundo Nuevo, - was a bit of a brilliant move cause the record sounds like a party, which actually makes their studio efforts sound livelier.

This new track, the first single off the forthcoming Arabia Mountain, is notable not only for the rock and roll jangle and a saw as an instrument. It's also doing drugs and, it sounds like, enjoying them. To erase any doubt, they put it in the video

"Modern Art" is a strong first single. Let me rephrase that - it's not like this is a Rihanna album and radio has to like it enough to play the shit out of it. This song makes me expect something good on June 7. 

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Almost A Memory - Not The Same Old Summer

04 Track 04.mp3 Listen on Posterous

I don't know what it is but for much of the last decade Long Island has pumped out a stream of great punk bands from Brand New to Latterman to Bayside. Really, there's a killer scene out on the island, even if it gets slagged off by those hardcore kids who don't dig on melodies. I say those kids can suck it.

That said, I can't resist posting a track from my brother-in-law's band, Almost A Memory. When I was up there for a visit last month, I got to watch them practice in a cramped basement bedroom, which makes the china in my in-law's living room rattle. Let me get this important point out of the way: If they weren't actually good, I wouldn't be posting them. Ain't no nepotistic bull shit going on here.

My first thought, because of lead singer Vicki, is the Paramore factor. AAM have it, cause the songs are good, and the band is better. Joe and Chris on guitar, John holding it down on bass and Daniel all over the drums, this is a solid band, and much more so than Hailey and the bitter boys she made stars. It's the voice that sells AAM for me, and I don't think she's come close to her potential yet. Somewhere in there, this chick has the kind of voice that reminds me a little of bands like Tilt, that can knock people off their feet. Hailey has that voice, but - not that they sound alike - Tilt lead singer Cinder is a better example of someone who isn't holding back. Sometimes I think Vicki is. She's got more. But I didn't get to catch a show, so maybe it's just that she doesn't let it rage in the basement. 

Of the handful of songs I saw in practice, "Not The Same Old Summer" stuck with me, just as it had the first time I heard it playing off a small boombox hours earlier. First, because unlike everything else at the PA-less practice, I could hear Vicki singing over the band, and, mostly, because I think people who don't listen to all sorts of punk-influenced pop bands would dig this song a lot. I've said before though that I'm a sucker for this kind of female-fronted band, and the acoustic to pounding look-back-on-summer-love, well, I'm a sucker for that too.

The 15-year-old me identifies with lyrics of frustration like "Fate Knows Your Name" and especially "Lessons Learned." That middle-finger-in-the-air has endeared a lot of bands to me that I probably should have forgotten, Green Day included. (Not that Green Day should be forgotten, but see most of Dookie for what I'm talking about.) Joe and Chris are banging out the power chords that have driven this stuff for two decades - it took a good 10 seconds for me to realize that "Lessons Learned" wasn't "Welcome to Paradise," which happens once a year anyway - and that works well too.

What AAM needs is time. If they get some time, and keep doing what they're doing, there's a good chance somebody who isn't spending the weekend sleeping in their practice space is going to listen to them at least half as much as everybody in my house has over the last six weeks. That, obviously, is a good thing.

Buy the debut Almost A Memory EP Lessons Learned from iTunes.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Squarepusher - Come On My Selector

Come On My Selector by Squarepusher Listen on Posterous

Yesterday, I heard CJ Bolland's classic-to-me "Sugar Is Sweeter" on the Joe Shockley Podcast after, as Joe put it, it regifted itself to him on one of those wonderful shuffled playlists. I don't know how many years it's been since I heard the track, but it's definitely more than one, and probably closer to two or three or four. So as I piled mp3 backups to rip and load onto my Amazon Cloud, the site of Squarepusher on a playlist caught my eye.

Like "Sugar Is Sweeter," "Come On My Selector" is one of those tracks that was first seen by my eyes on an overpriced import CD and later on a psychotic video on AMP on MTV. It's not just the freaky Japanese girl in the video killing people that does it for me, though that helps, it's the fastest beats I'm pretty sure I'd heard to that point, the squelching bass lines, the actual bass lines, and the way it just twists and gets crazier. From "let the bass kick" to the climax after "come to fucking daddy" and gradual drop off end of the track, with a steadily tranquil bassline as it's guide, it's a mind fuck.

Every track on Big Loada, the stateside full length this comes on, is like this and crazy. What's really amazing is that Squarepusher, or Tom Jenkinson as his mother calls him, is a hugely talented bassist who, when he got several albums of what came to be called drill 'n' bass (sometimes the beats sound like drills, let's be honest here), turned to revolutionary jazz. Eventually, he combined the two and started triggering all his d'n'b samples through a bass. Yeah, revolutionary. I know.

While Aphex Twin wants you to actually go insane, and Luke Vibert wants you to get stoned and follow a groove, I'm pretty thoroughly convinced that Squarepusher was just looking for listeners to dance as though they're having a seizure. Frankly, it's the best seizure EVER.

(If you're not convinced, here's "Problem Child" from the same album.)

Buy Big Loada from Shockhound.
Or, just check out the entire Squarepusher discography. They're all good.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Tuna burger, homemade french fries and edamame. YES!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Times New Viking - Don't Go To Liverpool

Don't Go To Liverpool by Times New Viking Listen on Posterous

I've been crowing about how Times New Viking was writing great, hooky pop songs and then playing them sloppy and distorted, with an extra layer of distortion put on to make sure you really wanted to hear what they were doing and were willing to put the work out. With Dancer Equired, I got my wish that they'd clear some of that slush out, but now I don't know what to think of it.

After a few days of listening to Dancer Equired I couldn't remember what TNV had sounded like on their first four albums. When I went back, what I found sounded like a bad recording of a live show, which I know is what they had been going for the whole time, and now that I could hear their songs, suddenly this is an indie rock band, in the tradition of Guided By Voices or, what I really can't stop thinking, The Moldy Peaches.

I don't know how you go from Pussy Galore to The Moldy Peaches in one album. From straining to hear shit hot rock songs buried in noise and poor recording quality to just somewhat lo-fi recording and clear, endearing melodies (though none of the Peaches sometimes overplayed clever sarcasm). Tracks like "Don't Go To Liverpool," and there are several like this, remind me a bit of pop punkers Mixtapes, if the left out the skate punk parts. On a previous TNV album, there's be a huge, static-y riff on there, and part of me hopes they have one in concert.

If anything kills the momentum Times New Viking has gathered in the last two years, though, I don't think it'll be the shift in recording quality. Much as I've enjoyed the album, it sounds like a different band. Not bad, just different. For a lot of people other than myself, however, different equals bad. Give Dancer Equired a chance to warm up to you. The knowledge that there was a soul beneath all that feedback and static is reason enough.

Buy Dancer Equired from Amazon.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Just stared at this for an hour above our table at dinner. I think I know what I'm watching before bed tonight...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sleepy Vikings - Calm

Calm by Sleepy Vikings Listen on Posterous

I could have waited for the PR company to send me Sleepy Vikings debut album, They Will Find You Here, but after it got me to stop streaming the new Beastie Boys album (which is fucking stellar) for half an hour cause I just let "Calm" repeat over and over, I decided not to even bother emailing first and just this post tonight.

My initial reaction to "Calm" was that the fast parts have a "Paint It Black" kind of feel and the melodies and chorus have a great easy indie feel like the best of stuff from Polyvinyl Records. The more I listened to it, thought, the more the track lines up with the Pavement and (latter-day) Sonic Youth comparisons that came on the emailed press release introducing me to the band. All the references to jangly guitars and southern shoegaze, a genre which may or may not actually exist, they match up too. 

While I may sit on my tired-parent ass at the end of the day, swallowing beer and staring at the Internet, I bet Sleepy Vikings rip through songs like "Calm" in concert. Though they'll have to hit Fort Lauderdale for me to ever find out, and that's not on the itinerary, I plan to force a lot of people to listen to They Will Find You Here. If the awesome cover drawing of a barn on a fire is any indication, this is a another great album for 2011. 

Keep an eye on the Sleepy Vikings website and Facebook page for where to pick up or download They Will Find You Here on May 10.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mastodon - Just Got Paid

Just Got Paid by Mastodon Listen on Posterous

It's been a whole week and absolutely nothing, not even one of those bonus tracks from Radiohead, has been posted here from Record Store Day. Not that I've got nothing sitting on the hard drive, but between the holidays and distractions, well... Let's rectify that right now.
Mastodon is one of the hardest, heaviest bands around. I've heard the quip that they're "metal for hipsters," but they're sick, so suck it. In addition to shredding, they use classic literature such as Moby Dick for inspiration. Look it up - it's worth the effort.

"Just Got Paid" is obviously somewhat lighter in subject matter, and is a pretty straightforward cover of a pretty straightforward track by ZZ Top. The track comes from the bearded boogie boys second album, Rio Grande Mud. The cover by Mastodon was the a-side of a limited edition 7-inch put together for this year's RSD international event. The b-side, by the way, is the original. And yes, both of them kick ass.
So, with all the off the wall stuff that came out on RSD, why this track? Well, why blow the whole RSD load so early, you know? Plus, this is a great track and it works for the best kind of Good Friday there is: PAYDAY!
(Super cheesy, that is, but I'm just happy to go swimming through the room full of money once again! Feel free to rock and/or roll, people.)
Buy music by Mastodon from Shockhound.
Buy Rio Grande Mud from Shockhound.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Best. Macaroons. Ever.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Shadow's Keeper

Shadow's Keeper by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Listen on Posterous

Why aren't BRMC huge? Maybe their lack of a massive audience is just further proof that people don't want fuzzed out led-heavy rock and roll every day. Which is loss for them, cause this trio has spent the last decade alternating heavy and fuzzy with country-tinged and introspective, sounding like Jesus and Mary Chain had been ripped right out of the late 60s instead of the 90s, and melded with The Brian Jonestown Massacre and the occasional Stones reference (just like every other good band). Oh, maybe that's the explanation. It's a limited audience.

For every track about a woman problem, there's one about the government or not being a doormat or just being a bad-ass. Last year's Beat The Devil's Tattoo was another solid album from BRMC, who have done a little label hopping but managed to retain the low-key focus they debuted to the world way back in 2001, when I'm sure Virgin Records figured this would be an easy garage sounding sale for the times.

Not long after their somewhat self-titled debut, BRMC, was released, I managed to get 20 minutes on the phone with main man Peter Hayes. Though I was half-drunk from a lunch that included multiple shots of Jagermeister, I managed to dial and speak. This wasn't the first inebriated interview I'd done by this point, and thankfully was prepared with the knowledge that both Hayes and fellow main man Robert Levon Been were a tough interview, so wasn't discouraged or worried he knew about my lunch coming from shot glasses. I just kept talking until he finally started. Which was good, cause that first album (and the second one) consumed a lot of my listening time and would have been seriously disappointing.

Beat The Devil's Tattoo doesn't find the band pushing much beyond their boundaries, but rather continuing to find new ways to twist and layer grooving feedback-heavy chords on each of the 13 tracks found here. It's like a baptism by refreshing, that the masses thankfully could still care less about.

Buy Beat The Devil's Tattoo from Shockhound

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

TV On The Radio - Dirty Whirl

Dirtywhirl by Tv On The Radio Listen on Posterous

TV On The Radio announced that bassist Gerard Smith lost his battle with lung cancer today. Before the release of the album, the band said that Smith would sit out at least part of their current tour in support of the band's just released fifth full length album, Nine Types of Light, while undergoing treatment for the disease.

Though it was tempting to find a track from the band that somehow relates to death, that's too cliche and unlike this blog. More appropriately, "Dirty Whirl," the eighth track on Return To Cookie Mountain, the 2006 album that blew the doors open for the band from indie freak-outs (really, those of us in the know were having aural orgasms on a daily basis for two years) to pretty universally acclaimed awesome, is a swirling, beautiful song. 

Like every TVOTR track, Tunde and Kyp's vocals are front and center, but it is Smith's guitar and bass work that turn it into a mesmerizing and hypnotic ode to somewhat willful destruction at the hands of a girl.

There is no doubt, based especially on the post at the band's website, that Smith went willfully. This is one of the best songs on an album full of best songs. The band loses a friend, and the world loses a great musician, as evidenced by "Dirty Whirl," and his work on tracks on each of the last three TV On The Radio albums. The reasons should be pretty obvious for why this loss is so great.

RIP Gerard Smith.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bob Dylan - Bob Dylan's 115th Dream

Bob Dylan's 115Th Dream by Bob Dylan Listen on Posterous

After an inadvertent break for Passover - I'll blame the wine and leave it at that - my first thought on starting the week was to roll with a song that just keeps popping up on my shuffles. Actually, a bunch of Dylan stuff has been bubbling to the top of shuffles, but this song has played more than once and it got me thinking. 

It's pretty likely the former Bob Zimmerman did not have a seder, considering he gave up on Judaism years ago, but this tale of Captain Kid checking out the New World just before Columbus rolled up made me think of the Exodus despite its complete lack of a real link. The search, for salvation in both cases, comes through for me though, even with the lack of biblical references in the lyrics. Really, "Highway 61" would have been a better pick. Forget that, though, here's a slightly less obvious track that I've grown to like a lot more most of the time. 

The other thing I really dig about "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" is the way it starts - a studio misstep, and everybody sounds too stoned to really care. I'm only mentioning that part because it's April 20, and some will wonder why I didn't post "Rainy Day Woman #12 and 35." The simple answer, for anybody who listens to the words, is that it's not about drugs. At all. 
If the 60s had really been successful, you'd have smiling, large-bearded Ginsbergian religious-looking figures davening to "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)." Instead, everybody cashed in and only a phrase or two has continued in the popular lexicon, and that phrase is used about as much as the word lexicon. No shame, considering money is what makes things happen, but the words of that track are at least as useful as anything in a Passover Haggadah, if not the entire Bible itself.

Alas, here we are, a better nation and world, despite a lot of the American Enlightenment's failure, and I'm willing to bet that most people 29 years and younger currently alive haven't even heard these songs, or the albums they come from. You don't have to love it, but you should at least know it. Then again, that bit of bitterness comes from a guy who loves everything about Passover from the story to the wine to the screaming about who does and does not find gafilte fish jelly completely disgusting, so do whatever you want.
Buy Bringing It All Back Home from Shockhound.

(For the record, those versions of "Rainy Day Woman" and "It's Alright Ma" are not the album versions, and totally worth checking out if you didn't do so already.)

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Friday, April 15, 2011

There are two cases of these sitting in my office. It's like they knew exactly what they were hiring.


I'm a legal-speed freak, and this is the lull part of my day. Now I don't even have to walk smasher for my fix. This red one is pretty delicious.

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Handsome Boy Modeling School - The Truth feat. Roisin of Moloko and J-Live

The Truth by Handsome Boy Modeling School Feat. Roisin & J Listen on Posterous

This song made it onto more than half the mix CDs I burned from the first CD burner I got in 1999 up through at least 2005, if not later. At this point, it's one of several hundred random songs that I just leave on iTunes and migrate from iPod to iPod and now from cloud service to cloud service. 

The Handsome Boy Modeling School album, So... How's Your Girl, took forever to come out. Magazines and whatever venues provided music news at that point - either I'm getting old and can't remember or we were just making shit up and saying it to each other - talked about the collaboration between Dan "The Automator" Nakamura and Prince Paul for at least a year before it finally hit stores.

So... How's Your Girl is a long album, but with appearances from the Beastie Boys' Mike D, El-P, DJ Shadow, Alec Empire and Father Guido Sarducci, among many, many others, that long time flies by. 

Roisin Murphy's voice purring over that bass heavy, plodding beat never, ever runs out of steam. J-Live has a great verse on there too, but that's a bonus to what makes this song great - and that, obviously, is Murphy singing. 

I haven't tracked anything Murphy, the former vocalist for Moloko, has done, other than knowing that she's put out a couple of solo records in the last several years. Not that I'm not interested. I'm just pretty satisfied with this track. 12 years on, I guess I ought to look her up. Oh, and despite the fact that nobody talks about it, the Handsome Boy Modeling School efforts remain worthy listening.

Buy So... How's Your Girl from Shockhound.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Prefuse 73 - The Only Lillies and Lilacs Pt 2

The Only Lillies And Lilacs Pt 2 by Prefuse 73 Listen on Posterous

It would have been easy to dismiss the new Prefuse 73 album during the first listen as ambient noise, almost the way Radiohead's The King of Limbs can easily be dismissed for not being loud at any point. Like the Radiohead album, I think that would be stupid. The Only She Chapters is a whole new plane of existence for Scott Herren and his main alter ego, however, to dismiss as minimalist what really is a complete redefinition and exploration of a new area actually feels like I'd be cheating myself.

Though he first started releasing music as Delarosa and Asora in the late 90s, the first Prefuse albums established Herren's reputation for glitch-hop - chopped up MC's over static-y, stuttering beats - and turned heads immediately. In the decade that followed, however, the abstract producer has gone all instrumental in some parts, brought in vocalists and experimented with all manner of instruments beyond his sampler, and been all over the place while creating some ear-bending tracks, which makes the drawn out illbient-style productions of The Only She Chapters even more fascinating.

That i-word, illbient, was one of the first that came to mind as this album, from top to bottom, reminds of DJ Spooky's full length debut, Songs of a Dead Dreamer, some of the way out Future Sound of London records in the ISDN-era, and even the 16-minute bliss-outs on early Orb albums. On the Warp Records page for The Only She Chapters, Herren refers to the album as a different way to get at his music. Far from a different way, I'd say it's a whole different mindset, despite some of the sampling sounding distinctly Prefuse.

There are only two ways to listen to this album: turned up really loud on a large stereo system, or turned up really loud on headphones. I've got the headphones route and been seriously rewarded because slapping cans on your ears blocks out any other noise, a good thing considering the voices, tones, and sounds Herren has woven into these intricate recordings.

Some people like to use drugs when they listen to music like The Only She Chapters. If that's your bag, go for it, but realize that this album, itself, at high volumes, is its own drug.

Pre-order The Only She Chapters (and check out a sampler of the album), or buy other Prefuse 73 albums on MP3, CD or vinyl, directly from Warp Records.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Foo Fighters - Walk

Walk by Foo Fighters Listen on Posterous

It's been a few years since the prospect of a new Foo Fighters album really got me moving. Not that all the TV specials and live performances don't deliver - they do, everything single time. It's just that the albums, basically everything since 2002's One By One, haven't had me freaking out. And I know that Dave Grohl has more than once said he hated the album but "All My Life," "One By One" and "Come Back" are among my favorite tracks ever by the Foos.

That said, there was no telling what would happen when Grohl got Butch Vig in the studio with him for the first time since recording the uber-classic Nirvana album Nevermind. That little fact has nothing to do with it though. What really made me sit up was the clip of "Bridge Burning," and then the video for "White Limo," with Lemmy driving and Pat Smear clearly being back in the band. "Rope" didn't hurt too much either. Actually, "Rope" ratcheted up the expectations even higher.

I've read and heard the sentiment more than once in the last week from people that have heard the album that it's not ground-breaking, mind-blowing or pushing anything toward the musical future. My question is this: When the fuck have the Foo Fighters ever done that? Really, that's never been their gig. Even that mind-blowing-at-the-time self-titled debut that came out of nowhere after being recorded entirely by Grohl himself. That album never gets old, but even that one wasn't any great leap for music, it was just really really good.

Dave Grohl is the best drummer alive, as he proved once again 2009 and early 2010 with Them Crooked Vultures. All I wanted this year was a solid, loud Foo Fighters album. After listening to it for the last five or six days, a lot, Wasting Light is the best album the Foos have put out in years. There's plenty of bitter, hopeful, angry, sometimes satisfied lyrics to go with the rock and roll. The songs are good, the drums are crashing, Bob Mould and Krist Novoselic are on it. "Walk" exemplifies all of that and represents it well. The truth is, this is a solid record. It might make me less of a critic but I'm satisfied.

Buy Wasting Light from Shockhound.
Buy Them Crooked Vultures from Shockhound. (For crap's sake, this thing will kick your ass. Why don't you have Led Foos of the Stone Age? SERIOUSLY??)

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Drawings outside the men's bathroom. Einstein doesn't surprise me. Whitman, however, does. :)


I own multiple editions of "Leaves of Grass," so this stands out to me as a good sign for the new job.

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Monday, April 11, 2011

Blakroc - Dollaz & Sense (feat. Pharoahe Monch, RZA and The Black Keys)

Dollaz & Sense (Feat. Pharoahe Monch & Rza) by Blakroc Listen on Posterous

I started a new job today. While I'm a big believer in paying your dues - that is, working hard at something for no money in order to gain skills with the expectation of gettin' that cheese at some point - this song just a good mantra for life. "If it don't make dollars, then it don't make sense," sings Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach between verses from Pharoahe Monch and RZA. Yeah, he's got a point.

The Blakroc album, a joint effort between The Black Keys and Damon Dash, featured the Keys playing some heavy hip hop shizz and an all star roster of MC's flowing over top. It has aged well. All of it. After a day full of new people, new tasks and a new office, this album was an ideal come down from all the excitement. Combined with a listen to Rubber Factory, the third album from Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney, this was the perfect end of day soundtrack. At least, it was that way for me.

Posting this track today is as much a statement on the new gig, despite my love of the old one, as it is a statement on life. You've got to love what you do and, eventually, you've got to get paid for it.

Buy Blakroc from Shockhound.
Buy Rubber Factory from Shockhound.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Skull Tape - The Invisible Hand

The Invisible Hand by Skull Tape Listen on Posterous

The new album from Skull Tape, The Invisible Hand and The Descent of Man, has been part of my regular listening most of the last month. I'm pretty sure these guys are my Surfer Blood for 2011 - out of left field pop songs that are catchy and I can't stop listening too. I fell in love when Pitchfork posted "Trans Anthro" and, well, you just read those two sentences so you know what happened.

The 12-track album flies by with a Tripping Daisy meets Parts and Labor fury of broken down Nintendo keyboard sounds, punk fast to psych slow and all in between rhythms with harmonies that often, for lack of a better example, sound like Blink-182 (not always, but enough that the thought crosses my mind several times throughout the album). 

All of that adds up to something that fans of Atom and His Package and the three aforementioned bands should be able to agree on. They should agree, of course, that this album is a new obsession. On their Facebook page, Skull Tape claims Sparks, Iron Maiden, The Wipers and YMO as their influences so hopefully my common man explanation doesn't offend them. To be fair, I can hear all those bands too. 

Brad Breeck, formerly of The Mae Shi, wrote these songs after that band broke up in between his work on commercials. According to the press release, The Invisible Hand and The Descent of Man was inspired by Breeck's obsession with a host of current events and it carries a loose theme of social darwinism, covering a wide range of issues the country is facing right now. Knowing this adds a whole layer of holy-fucking-shit to the album, which is catchy, personal and feels familiar from the first listen. I've got to say, part of me thinks that's a bunch of BS but, since this is indie rock and not some douche in a suit from EMI, I'll take the PR company and Breeck at their word.

There's enough punk rock on this album that I'm gonna qualify it as punk, and enough noise and jagged rhythms that it qualifies as art rock, the combination of which should bring it pretty close to perfect. Breeck has managed to craft songs just subversive enough that something beyond "here comes the girl" and "friendship is essential for life," themes that permeate many of these songs, might sink in when you're too busy bopping your head to pay attention.

Pre-order The Invisible Hand and The Descent of Man at Amazon.
Also, Skull Tape made a video for their cover of Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair," which is a mash-up with the album track "Drowning In Blood." As you can see here, it's awesome.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

They got me for a donation. Helping people is a good reason not to work though.


And it's better than my usual excuse. :)

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

To anybody I know that thinks shutting the government down is an acceptable political tactic:

This comes from a friend in the military:

"Straight from the pentagon, if the government shutsdown, military will get 1 weeks pay instead of 2! You stupid F$&ks on capital hill better get your s@=t straight. You all go home every night to your families and never deploy....F%#K YOU!!! I don't go home every night and I spend months away from my family. Are you going to pay my direct withdrawals from my account and over the limit fees?"

Let's get this out of the way first - the last time Republicans shut the government down as part of some hissy fit to make a point, it backfired on them politically. So, from somebody who thinks you guys play dirty and don't actually have the best interests of the country at heart, thanks. This will help public servants who actually want to do something to move the country forward.

Compromise is not a one-way street. It's time for Republicans and conservatives to sit down and come to an agreement, rather than throwing a hissy fit when they don't get their way. Democrats and progressives in Congress do it over and over, angering their strongest supporters, in the hope that it will allow them to get more done. Unfortunately, that's never the way it works.

On the upside, the last time Republicans shut down the government, a Democratic President was reelected a year and a half later, the economy grew in unbelievable ways, and - shock - the federal budget was balanced as a result of all that tax revenue from the business success. Here's to hoping that the same thing happens now. 

But more importantly, shutting down the government hurts actual American families. Not just the economy, but it makes life harder for people. You may say they're government jobs, but those paychecks are spent at actual businesses and contribute to the actual economy. Most notably, as my friend points out, our men and women in uniform, who put their lives on the line and follow orders given to them with the intention (hopefully) of protecting this great nation, are affected by this. 

By shutting the government down you're hurting people and hurting America. Who's the real party of patriots now?

Posted via email from Stephen Feller