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…
Phil the Thrill’s mixtape dropped a few days ago, and it’s blowing up all over the Twitter and blogs. Lyrical substance, a voice that touches on Childish Gambino and an awesome flow, plus some dirty beats. Even slower songs like ‘Serendipity’ and ‘Falling Up’ just capture the listener absolutely. This kid is drowning in potential and this mixtape puts that potential on display in full force. It’s time to give ‘Barely Awake’ a spin before you’re left behind. Phil the Thrill sounds like he’s been in the game forever on tracks like ‘Ashtray’ and ‘Vodka Vibe’ and banger ‘Make You Famous’ is bound to blow up whatever party you’re crawling through, face in the toilet and Gatorade and vodka stains down your shirt.
Since the first time I listened to it, J. Cole’s ‘Cole World: The Sideline Story’, is all I’ve listened to. The day after it came out, I got it, and I initially enjoyed it, and decided I need to put it on my iPod, which has very little space on it, I take iPod space very seriously. But J. Cole had to be on it. He turns down the synth and brings back the samples full force and with genius. Every guitar strum, every beat accent, every chorus is on time and provides intricate backdrops for his intelligent flows. While not as complex in his lyrics as his Compton counterpart and occasional partner, Kendrick Lamar, he brings a wealth of hooks and pop appeal to his work. J. Cole is the full deal, he has it all, the irresistible hooks, the intelligent lines, the sampling over synth production (besides the absolute banger, Mr. Nice Watch). This guy is a true artist on his first major label release, he will make waves in the industry.Stream samples of the whole album at his website.
‘Can’t Get Enough’ ft. Trey Songz
‘Mr. Nice Watch’ ft. Jay-z
‘Nobodys Perfect’ ft. Missy Elliot
Finally got the leak for Death Cab’s latest, ‘Codes and Keys’. You can download it here. Great album from an always consistent band, with a few very solid tracks. Their more lighthearted mood does nothing to detract their unbelievable song output. The album can also be streamed here on NPR.
Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi have been planning this for years, an album completely inspired by 1960’s and 70’s Italian film soundtracks. They reunited a group of professional Italian musicians, as well as singers Jack White and Norah Jones, in Rome, in order to record the project, also entitled ‘Rome’. The result is an expansive and interesting soundscape. The foundation for all the music on this album is Italian film scores, and even if you’re not an Italian film score expert, it is pretty easy to hear the hints of typical movie soundtrack phrases throughout the album. Combined with Danger Mouse’s amazing production abilities, by far one of the best producers in the world right now, and singers’ Jack White and Norah Jones talents, and Daniele Luppi’s Italian composition expertise, this album is a sparse, confrontational, romantic, desperate, dark, built for the big screen, spaghetti western score classic.
Two Against One ft. Jack White – Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi
Season’s Trees ft. Norah Jones – Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi
‘Season’s Trees’ is absolutely amazing. Danger Mouse can turn my parents possibly-mentally-challenged miniature poodle into a recording superstar if he wanted. It seems like his abilities in the studio are limitless. To read more about Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi’s ‘Rome Project’, click here to stream the entire album on Rolling Stone.
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.