The best thing to come out of my love for Odd Future wasn’t a rapper, it wasn’t a show, it wasn’t skateboarding, and it wasn’t hilarious interviews. It was a teenage jazz band from Canada. BADBADNOTGOOD has me absolutely captivated. I first discovered them through a jam session they did with Tyler, the Creator, and haven’t stopped listening since (I’ll post the Tyler, the Creator, and Goblin sessions on a new post). They’re a jazz group that met at Humbler College, and have since made a name for themselves jamming on hip-hop music. Their attitude is that jazz was amazing because it was so new when it came out, and jazz standards are only still played because that is what the older generations know, but younger generations don’t care about jazz standards as much, so how do you attract younger generations? Replace jazz standards with the hip-hop hits of today, songs that teenagers all know, and reinterpret those songs. Turn hip-hop into the new standard, not to recreate, but to reinterpret. Keyboardist Tavares put it best in an interview with Exclaim, “For me, the reason you can play jazz standards is because old people know those melodies. They can hear “Stella By Starlight” on Jazz FM and know how it goes. So if you play a hip-hop song that people know, they can hear your version and appreciate what’s happening. A young person doesn’t give a fuck how you play “Stella By Starlight.”
Stream their debut album, BBNG, through Bandcamp below, or download it on mediafire here, or both…
I’m so excited for the Buddy Holly tribute album, ‘Rave On Buddy Holly’. The tracklist and the artists involved are just awesome, and from the tracks released so far it seems like an rough, old school retread of the young, iconic rock stars greatest songs.
First was the Black Keys’ soul tinged, slow cover of ‘Dearest’, and now I just checked out Paul McCartney’s gritty, pub rock, cover of ‘It’s So Easy’. Both are amazing and I’m counting down the days until the June, 28, release date of ‘Rave On Buddy Holly’.
Here’s a video of McCartney performing ‘It’s So Easy’ live, you can stream it through Rolling Stone here though:
It’s So Easy – Paul McCartney
Dearest – The Black Keys
Nas is planning on collaborating with Frank Ocean, whom he calls “a new gust of wind”, on his next album. His forthcoming album is inspired by new music, and after his last release, ‘Nas’, which he seems to feel was a somewhat incomplete or fractured release, he is ready to return to the studio. He seems much more willing to go with the flow and let what happens happen on this upcoming release, he even stated that he had over thought the music too much on his previous album.
Nas’ ‘Illmatic’ is within the top three or five greatest rap albums ever made, it’s probably one of the best albums in music in general. Although he hasn’t been able to achieve the mind blowing, almost demi-god-like lyrical state of mind he was in on his debut, the Queens born rapper has still released some solid tracks over the years.
Frank Ocean on the other had is a fast rising star and the designated RnB talent in the Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All rap group. Personally I consider him to be among the most talented in the group. His music is an ethereal, kind of psychedelic RnB, with a strong dose of guitar sampling. While he has been compared to Drake by some, this guy is infinitely more talented then Drake. Comparing Frank Ocean to Drake is like comparing Family Guy to the Cleveland Show. Its Just. Not. The. Same. Just like Family Guy, Frank is on a whole other level.
So basically, I’m psyched for Nas’ next album now.
One Love – Nas
Novacane – Frank Ocean
Mayer Hawthorne has released his ‘Impressions EP’ as a free download. The EP, which features a variety of covers, includes tracks originally by Electric Light Orchestra, Chromeo, Jon Brion and the Isley Brothers. Hawthorne took the originals and glazed them over with his velvet falsetto and smooth, lo-fi, 70’s raspy, funky soul music.
The LA based producer and singer who’s debut, released a few years ago, was absolutely amazing, once again hit a high note, almost as high as his soaring falsetto, with this EP.
Eddie Vedder released the first song from his upcoming ukelele based album. The single, ‘Longing to Belong’ is a smooth, pop tinged lovelorn song backed by deep cellos which sharply contrast with Vedder’s fast strummed ukelele. This is one of the few times in my life I can say I’m looking forward to the release of a completely ukelele based album. The only other time I can think of is when I read about Amanda Palmer’s ukelele based Radiohead cover album.
Is it just me or is Coldplay not the iconic superstar pop group they once were? Probably a combination of the euro-trash-techno-club-monotone devolution of the mainstream pop aesthetic, as well as the fact that Viva la whatever that album was pretty much sucked, and I don’t have high hopes for future Coldplay. Personally I think Chris Martin should take some time off to record some stripped down acoustic/piano based tracks and see what happens. Could be some solid therapy, and a good change of direction, cause the band has never achieved the sound that they achieved on their debut, ‘Parachutes’. From the paranoid and haunting atmosphere of ‘Spies’ to the simplistic beauty of ‘Don’t Panic’, that album is just a classic album in pop music. Just straight up solid guitar based pop music that you just don’t hear anymore.
Spies – Coldplay
Don’t Panic – Coldplay
Anna Calvi is a guitar virtuoso who dreamed of one day playing like Jimi Hendrix. After locking herself in her room and practicing her singing for six hours a day, she began recording. Her album, which was released earlier this year, is a dark and romantic intricate tapestry of fretwork domination and reverb heavy atmospheres. Her music recalls a classic touch of rock and roll that’s very refreshing. The songs seem drenched in a touch of 20th century mainstream gothic music, with a deep voice reminiscent of Siouxie and dark, massive layers of reverb and minor key croons.