Tag: Danger Mouse
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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.
Like millions of other late night stoners out there, the Cartoon Network’s late night Adult Swim programming has been a big part of my life for the past 10 years. Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Sealab, and most importantly the magic tandem known as Tim and Eric:Awesome Show Great Job! The programming team has always been on the hip edge of the underground modern comedy and music scene, as noted by numerous linkups posted throughout their programming as well as the awesome Dangerdoom album from 2005 – MF Doom teamed up with Danger Mouse and made an entire album about Adult Swim shows. It’s fucking awesome actually, and one of my favorite hip-hip albums of the past 10 years.
Anyway, continuing their awesome musical links, right now Adult Swim is sponsoring 10 weeks of singles from hip sub-level bands. If you go to www.adultswim.com/promos/201106_kiasingles/index.html you can download everything for free. So far the first 3 weeks have featured 3 of my favorite up-and-coming bands, I can’t wait to see who else signs on. The 1st week was “Too Much MIDI” from Subpop’s Ford and Lopatin- quasi-digi, staggered beat electro-hipster dance party shit – really, good though. 2nd week was a new cut from everyone’s favorite stoner-cutie, Bethany Cosentino in Best Coast. Last week’s was from the dream-drift wonder-crafters in How To Dress Well- their sound is becomingly increasingly redundant with each new release but it’s so warm and sub-consciously seductive that I can’t turn away. So yeah, good, legal, free music – hit it up! And if they continue at this pace, it should keep revealing lesser known bands that are worth your time to check out a single of. They’re making videos too, including this one for Best Coast’s track, “Gone Again” which I posted below. Food and violence go together like emo-bands and bad haircuts.
Okey dokey – got a few listens through on some uber-anticipated upcoming releases. These are both gonna be must-grabs.
My Morning Jacket – Circuital – Release Date: May 31st
So I gotta say, I found 2008’s Evil Urges to be somewhat of a letdown for what I was expecting out of the Kentucky boys. Shit seemed too forced, too rushed, and felt like they were taking themselves way too fucking serious. In the pantheon of MMJ tunes, most of those are gonna fall to the wayside over the years. And sure, Z is one of the most epic rock albums of the last 20 years, so following it up was no easy task, but Circuital feels a lot more like what I had anticipated Evil Urges to sound like. The sound is rawer and more live again, which it needs to be for this band. The one-two opener of “Victory Dance” into “Circuital” get things climbing and building in the same way that older MMJ songs used to tug at your heart, and luckily the album never really steps back after that. “Outta My System” isn’t gonna change your life, but it’ll make you feel satisfied if you dish out $9.99 for the album.
“Holdin On To Black Metal” is just the track that this band needed to keep themselves in the game they helped procure over the last decade. An epic and intentionally childlike backup line of vocals will make this the cut everybody will be waiting to hear live this summer. The thing has room to stretch and crush. “Slow Slow Tune” is my new favorite Jacket tune. Killer washed out track with self-referential lyrics and (Gasp!) NO reverb on Jim James’ vocals! It’s fucking awesome. Big. Heart tugger. This album’s probably gonna come in at #6 on my best of 2011 list…if I were a gambling man. Check out “Black Metal” below.
Danger Mouse & Daniel Luppi – Rome – Release Date; May 17th
Holy fucking crap…the Mouse is friggin’ untouchable. 5 years in the making, the story behind Rome is that Danger went and found the old musicians who used to play on all the Eastwood spaghetti-westerns back in the day. He then inserted his brain, added some Jack White, through in some Norah Jones in a finally badass role, and made the album of the year. Vegas should be taking odds at it 2-1 any day now. It sounds just like you’d imagine it to be, only way better. The whole album is kinda like taking the graveyard scene at the end of The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly, and then panning over to see Danger Mouse playing a little trap kit with a dusty wind blowing around him. It’s beautiful and classy, yet resoundingly bad-ass. Nobody is crafting music the way that my guy right here is, and for that I think he’s gonna get praised hard by not only the usual hip accolades for this one, but most likely by the Grammy committee as well this year. The songs are amazing, the progression is amazing, the overall emotive vibe is phenomenal. Truly a timeless classic in a time when those words are never mentioned anymore. God, the bass is absolutely disgusting on this! Check out the opening “Theme From Rome” as well as the single, “Two Against One” – both below.
Gotta say, I was fairly stoked when I heard Danger Mouse was gonna make some new music with James Mercer in Broken Bells. It’s definitely the calabo that Danger should be riding with. I mean cool, “Crazy” blew the fuck up, but have some musical integrity and stay the hell away from CeeLo Green and the Gnarls Barkely crap. That’s essentially the one project in the Mouse’s career that doesn’t agree well with me – especially when he’s making such dope shit with other people. Here’s the middle of my review and the link to my full article at State of Mind: