Tag: Beastie Boys
I recently completed my submissions to State of Mind magazine for my top songs of 2012, and while I hate admitting my love for something even quasi-popular, I couldn’t deny the power of The Alabama Shakes‘ track “Hold On.” This led me on a tangent thought about the reoccurring theme of holding on to shit in popular music, and how it’s one overly-used topic that I actually don’t tire of – my affinity for the A. Shakes song being proof of that. Thus, I thought it’d be a good time to correlate my top songs of all time that are based on the theme of holding. Longevity, pause, and tight connections – all united by the hold. Here they are, feel free to add ones that you think are superior. And yes, I did intentionally forget Wilson Phillips‘ “Hold On” and 38 Special‘s “Hold on Loosely” – because both those songs massively suck.
#6 – The Beatles – “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
It’s hard for us younger folk to really imagine what if felt like to first hear this song on the radio and realize that pop music was about to take a dramatic leap into the future, but there’s no doubting that the tune still holds up today. It was also the 1st song that made me realize fairly complicated chord structure can sound simple and pop-friendly when in the right hands. And c’mon, the desires of youth summed up in a simple phrase…
#5 – Beastie Boys – “Hold it Now Hit It”
This was my favorite track off of Licensed to Ill as a kid, and was potentially the biggest foreshadowing on the first album of The Beastie’s real power that was yet to come. The song is essentially all one big breakdown – and the allure of the dramatic pause that was presented fully affected my obscure dance moves for the rest of my life.
#4 – The Alabama Shakes – “Hold On”
Like I said before, the power behind this track is fucking undeniable. And I love the fact that it’s referencing the tight grip but also uses the big pause and hold to launch their attack. Good shit.
#3 – Smokey Robinson – “You Really Got a Hold on Me”
So many people have tried to release versions of this song, and I don’t know why the hell you would even try when Smokey just straight up crushed it from the get-go. It’s perhaps the greatest vocalization of the death grip on one’s heart ever put to a beat, and everyone’s had it hit home at some point.
#2 – Thompson Twins – “Hold Me Now”
What a fucking banger! That fuzz bass is just massive. Honestly, don’t say there hasn’t been a time in your life when this came on the radio and you just cranked the living fuck out of it. The pleading hold has never been pushed stronger. Ever heard this huge nine and a half long version?
#1 – Sam & Dave – “Hold on I’m Coming”
Probably one of the most bad-ass tunes of all time. Slow your roll bitch, I’m on my way!
If you read my blog on a regular basis, then you know I’m no stranger to expressing my own heartfelt opinions. Thus, when I was asked a couple months back about answering some questions about my own blog, I decided to drop any potential hesitations about clouding my honest answers. And I realized that most of my darkest secrets happened long enough that I don’t care about family members reading about them, nor do I worry about ever running for public office. So to sum up the interview in 5 parts:
#1 – I love to talk shit.
#2 – I accidentally smoked crack when I was 16.
#3 – Ween kicks ass.
#4 – Zach dela Rocha let us all down by not releasing new Rage Against The Machine material during the Bush administration.
#5 – I’d be nowhere without the influence of Built to Spill, Phish, and the Beastie Boys.
Read the in-depth article HERE.
Photo courtesy of my utterly bold 18 year old self.
With yesterday’s release of the new Flying Lotus “Tiny Tortures” video, something truly struck me deep – when the hell did having Frodo in your music video be the new hip thing to do? Including yesterday’s brilliant release, the past 2 years have found Elijah Wood as the official centerpiece in videos for three of my favorite musical acts of the past half-decade. A little research and a quick firing of some underused neurons from my youth made me realize it’s been going on for quite some time though. Thus here are the Top 5 music videos starring Mr. Wood. And I’m starting with #1 – because the brilliant new Flying Lotus feature doesn’t deserve to be buried at the bottom of this blog.
#1 – Flying Lotus – “Tiny Tortures”
If you haven’t gotten on the Lotus tip yet, then you’re seriously denying yourself one of the most incredible, and true “artists” existing in music today. There’s a reason Thom Yorke has a permanent boner for him, and this beautiful video off the recent Until the Quiet Comes album shows every reason why.
#2 – The Apples in Stere0 – “Dancefloor”
I honestly believe that the Apples are the most underrated and greatest unknown band of the past 20 years. Front-man Robert Schneider has had an incomparably prolific run that doesn’t seem to show any signs of waning. This video from 2010 is one of their bouncier tracks, but still features a dark, ironic chorus hook that is the true definition of the band.
#3 – Beastie Boys – “Make Some Noise”
Can you fucking believe MCA is really no longer a resident of planet Earth? Goddammit – well at least they went out with a bang. And while boy-faced Elijah wouldn’t be my first pick to portray Ad-Rock, it does all seem to make sense in this video. If you haven’t seen the full half-hour version yet, than definitely work it into your day somehow.
#4 – Paula Abdul – “Forever Your Girl”
Don’t act like you didn’t watch this video every afternoon on MTV in 1989. Shit’s catchy as all hell – don’t deny it. Well actually deny it, because it does basically make you want to stab yourself. But yes, cut to 1:45, and the stressed-out Robert Palmer looking kid at the desk is none other than El Senor Wood.
#5 – The Cranberries – “Ridiculous Thoughts”
Man, The Cranberries really didn’t age well. I remember in the early 90′s hearing one random song of theirs and thinking, “Ah man, this tune is actually really fucking good.” Can’t remember what it was though – and it wasn’t “Zombie” and it’s definitely not this. But at least they were forward thinking enough to get Elijah in, so I guess they were slightly hip before new hip was hip.
I first had the thought last month when I went to see my buddy play with his highly successful pop-rock band at the Oregon Zoo…Do the animals really like this pumped-out fem-rock? More specifically, what about the elephants which dwell directly at the back of the concert lawn? It was still fairly loud back there, and those fellas got some big fucking ears which I presume can hear really well. Actually, I did my research and they can hear incredibly well – even to the point of some sub-sonic level. Look, here’s a picture I don’t understand but will make me look fancy to people just quickly scanning this post:
Either way, the elephants in Portland’s zoo didn’t really look like they were digging my buddy’s band too much, although the zookeeper said they were swaying a little bit when Jimmy Cliff played earlier in the Summer. So you know, maybe you could make some massive iPod which the elephants could use to shuffle through some different genres since forcing specific music upon them doesn’t really seem to make them shine too much. I mean hell, it’s not like they’re Beluga Whales or anything, which everybody knows only listen to mariachi music.
But honestly, the real reason of this post was to talk about this insane new footage of scientists pumping Cypress Hill through the membrane of a Longfin Inshore Squid. Why are they doing it? Because a squid’s body has a chameleon like reaction to electrical stimuli, thus it creates a light show almost at par with Pink Floyd night at your local planetarium.
It’s hard to tell whether they’re using a squid that’s alive or dead, but I feel like these guys have no qualms in pumping B-Real’s stoned out nasal raps through the flesh of a still-living creature. I mean, they definitely didn’t care about ripping the leg off of a cockroach so that they could make it dance to the Beastie Boys. (Skip to 1:06)
By now you’re saying, OK King, cool footage, what’s your point? Well it seems quite obvious to me…my point is that music, of all forms, is THE dominating force in nature. We should mount a stage to the back of a giant bulldozer upon which AC/DC will shred their greatest hits while the massive, metallic beast rampages over the old growth forests of the Pacific NorthWest…or not. No, actually… the real point is that life and humans and animals and all of nature operate upon these cycles of circadian rhythms. And music is merely segments of these natural patterns which we have recycled and positioned in order to manipulate the present patterns and states of being which flow within us. So when you go to that amazing concert screaming to your friends that it was so epic that it changed your life, you have to realize that at a fundamental level, it truly has. You have opened yourself to a new relay of patterned segments outside of the daily rotation that your body becomes accustomed to. It quivers you…it shapes you…it reforms you. This is why it is not only a matter of your own health, but it is your due responsibility as a human being to acknowledge when you are seeing really shitty music. You must not be afraid to walk away from the retched beat-deprived DJ just because your Molly-laced friend is dancing your ass off. Don’t go with the crowd, don’t be afraid to not succumb to the masses. There is great honor in being the elephant that walks indoors.
So for the past 10 years or so, nearly every time I’ve seen the Beastie Boys, they have played the same dope outro track after every concert. They usually have just thrown down a massive “Sabotage,” the entire building will be on Cloud-11, and this smooth mother-fucking jam comes on and just makes you so pumped to figure out where you and your crew are gonna go get some post-show cocktails. If you’ve seen the MSG Awesome, I Fucking Shot That DVD, it’s the music playing over the credits. However, the listed credits on there have the correct band, The Jazz Crusaders - a sly as all hell jazz-pop outfit from the early 70′s, but they had the wrong song listed. So I initially had given up on figuring out what it actually was til I woke up the other day with this song on loop in my head. Had to find it, did a little more sloothing, and here it is – “Way Back Home.” If you’re at home on a Saturday night – get up, make yourself a cocktail, twist up a fat one, sit your ass back down, and listen to this tune a good 7 or 8 times – it’s guaranteed to make you feel that everything is OK in the world.
50-41 – http://www.ishitmusic.com/?p=122
40-31 – http://www.ishitmusic.com/?p=124
30 – 21 – http://www.ishitmusic.com/?p=125
20) Booker T. Jones – The Road from Memphis
- With the MGs, Booker T. forged the cornerstone of instrumental soul music, and this album is by no means just a nostalgic celebration. Ideally having most of The Roots backing him up, Jones is still all about filling the pocket rather than playing crazy organ arpeggios. There’s an amazing take on Lauren Hill’s “Everything is Everything,” a killer cut with Jim James on vocals, and a crushing tune with Lou Reed called “The Bronx” which if you can imagine what it sounds like, I assure you it’s even more badass.
19) Panda Bear – Tomboy
- Five years ago Person Pitch was released, and its’ influence on the independent music scene has been enormous. Tons of young kids realized their whiny acoustic tunes could sound way cooler with massive echo, drone, and repetition; and the genre known as electronic music suddenly took on much more depth than anyone could have realized. Tomboy is a perfect continuation of this master’s craft, with a touch more focus on melody lines but still that same ‘float up to Neptune on a sunny day’ feel.
18) Tennis – Cape Dory
- Yeah, this album is definitely geared more towards the harmonic desire of my fellow Caucasians, but what do you expect from a band named Tennis? There are plenty of duos out there right now fronted by female vocals, but this husband/wife act makes it sound far more natural than the rest. Part 50’s doo-wop and part gritty roots-rock, this is the new theme music for hipsters on sail-boats who want to puke when they hear Steely Dan.
17) Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Part II
- Hi, my name’s Adam King. I’m 31 years old, and I fucking love the Beastie Boys. Sure, this isn’t their finest work but it’s still ultra-hype, has a bunch of incredible tunes, and gives credit to me wanting to wear skate-shoes until I die. Hopefully, MCA fully recovers from nasty throat cancer, and we won’t have to consider this their swan-song. Either way, it melds perfectly into the rest of their catalogue, with tunes like “Make Some Noise” being able to theoretically exist on any of their albums.
16) The Black Keys – El Camino
- It took a few albums, but The Black Keys are now officially the coolest band on the planet. Creating a thicker sound as a duo than most full bands out there, this is where the soul of rock and roll dwells these days. Despite Danger Mouse reprising his production role, this is one of the first times that an album he’s touched doesn’t sound simply like a Danger Mouse record – which is a testament to how well these guys fit together. And if you haven’t been to a strip-club in a while because you got tired of hearing Van Halen on repeat, I assure you that half the girls only dance to The Black Keys these days.
15) My Morning Jacket – Circuital
- After the rather dis-conjunct feeling that 2008’s Evil Urges left me with, I decided it was best to lessen my expectations of MMJ. Then this album dropped and they became my heroes all over again. The huge, slow build of the opening “Victory Dance,” the undeniable power of “Holdin’ on to Black Metal,” and the slow time-pod ballad “Slow Slow Tune” are 3 of my favorite tunes the band’s ever released. They are defining what the modern idea of a true rock band should be.
14) The Black Lips – Arabia Mountain
- Calling this band punk-rock is like calling Jonathan Richman punk-rock; it’s more of a mentality than it is a sonic connection. After over a decade as a band, these guys have settled into their niche of just writing cool, catchy tunes and not giving a fuck what anybody wants to call them. This is the kind of band The Peanuts Gang would be really into during their high-school years, and Arabia Mountain finds them at the top of their form.
13) Bon Iver – Bon Iver
- Regardless of the mythical hype that swirls around Justin Vernon these days, and as much as I initially tried to deny it, this album is incredible. It initially comes off as way too simple, but then you realize that it’s actually totally complex. Masterful use of different layers and incredibly melodic chord changes take what could have been an incredibly drab and boring collective of tunes, and make them incredibly thick and literally brilliant. I didn’t want to love it, but I fucking love it.
12) Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi – Rome
- DM took 5 years to make this album, teaming up with Italian composer, Luppi, and re-assembling many of the same musicians used in the old Spaghetti Westerns like “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly.” Essentially imagine that movie just came out, and Danger did the soundtrack and this is what you’d get. The creepy choir and dark strings, Jack White singing on a few morbid tracks, and a few with Norah Jones sounding badass for the first time in her life. This album is epic, and magical, and sadly overlooked by too many this past year. I personally thought it was gonna get nominated for at least a few Grammys.
11) Yeasayer – Live at Ancienne Belgique
- Ok, so this album was actually released a few days before 2011, but whatever, I make the rules. The tribal psych-rock of Yeasayer is presented with a whole new power here. A pristine recording from a Belgium show in the Fall of 2010, this is the album that can turn a whole different amalgamation of your friends onto this band – both head nodding hipsters and funked out post-hippies. It’s big, it bounces, it rocks, and it’s everything a great live album should be.
If you haven’t seen yet, they announced the fairly epic list of Inductees into next year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. BEASTIE BOYES – DONOVAN – THE FACES – GUNS N ROSES – FREDDIE KING – LAURA NYRO – RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS. For one of the first times, I think it’s a top-to-bottom killer list of acts that should most wickedly and rightfully belong in the Hall. And Sweet Jesus, imagine what the live performances are gonna be like that night. The Beastie Boys and the Chili Peppers? Possibly a reunited Faces? Fuck, maybe even a real-reunited GNR? Any of those killer Freddie King jams, or even some of the grooving Laura Nyro tunes? Shit is a hot motherfucking ticket right there. Here’s a run-down and video clip of them all if you need to get more familiar.
Beastie Boys – One of my hands-down all-time favorite bands of all time. And that’s right, they are most certainly a band. For 25 years, they’ve consistently put on one of the greatest live performances in music – always touching on rock, funk, soul, and anything else that makes people’s asses undulate. Here’s footage of them on Soul Train in 1989, and a killer full show from Serbia in 2007.
Donovan – Always the touch-creepier singer-songwriter from the 60′s, (still alive) and one of those cats who you eventually realize did a lot of tunes you always presumed were somebody else. Here’s “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” which became even creepier after it was in Zodiac.
The Faces – Now I guess some folks are pissed off that The Faces are getting co-inducted with The Small Faces, because they were 2 fairly different bands. Frankly, the Small stuff sounds a little more dated and hokey when it tries to rear its’ head these days, while the straight up Faces shit just makes you want to pound a fifth of Whiskey and make love to a stranger in a crowded dive bar – that shit is the real guts of Rock man. I can’t believe it’s taken them this long to get in. But c’mon, Rod Stewart back when he was still cool, Ron Wood just slaying the guitar, and Ronnie Lane murdering the bass. Everyone should own at least one of their albums. Here’s the hit:
Guns N Roses - Sure, Axel has gone completely insane, but that doesn’t stop the fact that the band was GNFNR!! If he would stop being a wanker and let Slash come out on stage with him, the building would completely fall apart. Here’s my jam:
Freddie King – One of the early pioneers of attacking the blues. Been dead since ’76. Probably be no Clapton without him. Dig it:
Laura Nyro – You think you have no clue who she is, but she wrote eeeeeverything. Tons of 5th Dimension tunes are hers, even Carol King covered her, and of course she wrote “Stoned Soul Picnic” – one of the hippest tracks ever laid to wax baby! Passed away about 15 years ago.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – They could have stopped after “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” and still got inducted some day. Yet Kiedis and Flea have still managed to hold the band together in one form or another for 25-odd years, AND managed to stay relevant and popular, AND continued to put out good friggin’ tunes. AND Flea is still and will always be one of the greatest bass-players of all time. Here’s the tune that first grabbed me back in the day, even though the video is horrid. So actually here’s a live cut from 03′ when Frusiciante is back, healthy, and owning it.
We all get lost in our moments of existential uncertainty – times when you just gotta let time be time – patience and breathing are the key tools of both the ninja and the cowboy. My own personal 2 week lapse of non-posting duly noted, the biggest gap in the recurrent flow of formulated nature of the audio sense has got to be the 2 year pause on the release of the newest Beastie Boys album, Hot Sauce Committee Part I.
It’s estimated release time from a year and a half ago was put on extended hold when the B Boys announced that MCA (Adam Yauch) had been diagnosed with throat cancer. More specifically a tumor in his salivary gland. Regardless, not that it’s a fly scar for anyone to run with, but it’s gotta be especially confusing when your entire life is centered on the words projected by said throat.
Anywho, as of a press release via their website 2 months ago, MCA is still not yet caner-free, but is doing really well and heading in the C-free direction. Potentially a good sign on the subject could be that the Beasties have finally announced the release date for their album, now of course called Hot Sauce Committee Part II - May 3rd. Could this be a sign that Yauch is feeling good enough to release the album so that they can tour behind it? Let’s hope so – because America is a wicked cooler place when the Beastie Boys are playing live.
I’ve been anticipating this ever since they released the early single a year ago – “Too Many Rappers” with Nas. A classic Beaties self-made beat, and lack of any props for pity, MCA’s opening verse is a slayer. It ends with one of my favorite lines of his ever: Flipping the mode on Nas’s infamous tag line from “NY State of Mind”, MCA rips ”Stay up all night and I MC/I never die cuz death is the cousin of sleep.” Hotness, can’t wait for the rest of the album to be just as dope.