Sounds of the Mayan 2012: Five Albums That Existed This Year – MDNA

Soundtrek

So… if nothing else, 2012 proved that by George the Mayans had it all kinds of right: this year proved a renaissance of apocalyptic proportions – a year when the culturally amnesiatic cynics failed to recognize a sea change over the screams of their own skeptic scoffs… alas, even in the midst of privately-backed Super-PAC pocketed media, bindered women, NRA publicity stunts, mass school shootings, a deluge of false formations and knowledge starvation, the spectacle’s continued triumph over literacy shrugged – and oh, Sandy; even in the midst of all that, there was music – glorious music – because after all, to mark the fall, the birth of tragedy is forever  conceived in the spirit of music.

Somewhere along the 365 steps on the road to perdition, albums debuted, someone named Franked caused an Ocean of tears, a boy named Ken lamented the m.a.a.d. urban terrain, and Fiona spun the wheel while time idly passed by… but this isn’t about them – although everything else prior has unremarkably revolved around the former two – this list is about five albums I listened to, five albums I didn’t need people to tell me I liked, five works that are tragic in their own right, five that may not be cool, may be too young for school, but five that at the end of the day reminded me of what “those” Mayans might play had they lived to see this day…

MDNA – Madonna

MDNfAce

This was easily some of Madonna’s best work to date – contextually – period. Although sonic cohesion and precision ebb and flow within the confines of Madge’s contemporary discography, MDNA solidified a mood and melody for the Monarch’s tumultuous mindset. Ciccone grabbed the circuit and spun it up proper, regardless of all analog static enveloping the release. Best friends, boyfriends, and rhythmic revelations in tow – Madge dropped a bomb, aurally addicting, introspectively intriguing, albeit misguided at times, but always spectacular – MDNA what a mighty majestic show.

Five Takes on Dave (1920-2012)

Soundtrek

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Dave Brubeck, 1920-2012

For as long as I’ve been playing jazz, people have been trying to pigeonhole me … Frankly, labels bore me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legendary beyond compare, brilliant beyond boundaries… five takes on the many shades of Brubeck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Rondo a la Turk” – Time Out, 1959

Brubeck heard this unusual rhythm performed by Turkish musicians on the street. Upon asking the musicians where they got the rhythm, one replied This rhythm is to us, what the blues is to you.” Hence the title Blue Rondo à la Turk.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Castilian Drums” featuring Joe Morello (Live) – Live at Carnegie Hall, 1963

Vinyl Cut Prose: “National Anthem,” Lana del Rey

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Nouveau riche in thé vintage frame. The forever first lady and the one time flame. The brunette bombshell and the trap star, lost and found in the endless hyperreel… Because the spectacle said so – when the young culture is American culture, and Lana’s lyrics drown out Key’s ode to Lady Liberty… Where standing wealth disappears beneath the facade of runaway riches. Where race fades in the place of the envy, the currency, the one, the only, the greenface. Where Cognac and Cuban cigars line the seersuckered pockets of star-spangled bangers… Here in this place in time, suspended in the gilded gift of the omnipresent: the market is the new monarchy, fame is the new family, pledge allegiance to the powers that be: Marilana Yolonassis and A$AP “Call Me More Like Dom” F. Kennedy

SnappScenes: “Shot You Down” – Florrie

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This is just… quite good really – in, many many ways; albeit, many simplistic ways, but simplistic ways necessary in an otherwise unnecessarily muddled music scene… Check out Florrie’s latest: “Shot You Down”

Nice progression, smooth – milk smooth #isthataphrase – bass riding through the track. I’m obviously a fiend for most electro-acoustic hybrids – by that I mean, any melodic melange capable of bringing out the best of synthesized effects in tandem with (not drowning out or exploitatively distorting #notinthegooddistortionway acoustic instrumentation) and the soul of live instruments. I’m even more fiendish for that most tangible and raw of instruments – los tambores, le batterie, الطبول, Gǔ, – the drums.

Unofficial Best of London’s LoveBox 2012 Festival – Sunday Set

Soundtrek, Uncategorized

Historically, music festivals like Woodstock and Glastonbury were created to celebrate idealism (one ‘ism that we agree is worth buying into). Lovebox is no different. Add to this idealism the inclusiveness that you find on the best dancefloors and the diversity you find on our capital’s streets and you have the beginnings of a manifesto for a world-class festival in a world-class city.

Ten years old Lovebox has grown up quickly to become the biggest party on East London’s summer calendar and with every year it takes another step forward.

Sunday is a freewheeling, groundbreaking, no-holds-barred party, pulling together elements of the fiercest all-night parties, ballrooms, gay discos, supper clubs, cabarets and bingo-halls and mixing it with recycled couture, the hottest emergent artists and, of course, outrageous acts to create a totally unique hedonistic all-dayer which is most definitely Out & Out Fierce…

Out and Out … and out, and out, and out #ofcontrol

Unofficial Best of London’s LoveBox Festival 2012 – Saturday Set

Soundtrek

Historically, music festivals like Woodstock and Glastonbury were created to celebrate idealism (one ‘ism that we agree is worth buying into). Lovebox is no different. Add to this idealism the inclusiveness that you find on the best dancefloors and the diversity you find on our capital’s streets and you have the beginnings of a manifesto for a world-class festival in a world-class city.

Ten years old Lovebox has grown up quickly to become the biggest party on East London’s summer calendar and with every year it takes another step forward.

Saturday follows the tried and tested Lovebox model of curating a heady mix of international megastars, pop-cult legends, hipper than thou rockers and underground club collectives. Heart and soul, rock and roll.

Unofficial… because the view from the crowd puts you right in the pit #orsomethingtothateffect

Stooshe, Sabre, Sande, and Kelis… Girl Pop that won’t give you cavities, rough-around-the-edges neo-soul crooner with a tinge of Legend tone on the tongue, the heavenly neuroscience student whose rhythm transcends the merely cerebral – and, of course, the acapella milkshake distributor #bawsey

Biorhythmic: Music 4 TNGRS – Chester French

SnapTrakks, Soundtrek

This album cover is the story… of a girl named Sally TNGR; and this album is the electro-acoustic soundtrack of her self, and her TNG scene, from her highschool suitors. Music 4 TNGRSRequiem for the Teenage Dream, courtesy of Generation Adamant Abbreviated Extended Adolescence.

m4t cover

Ah, Chester French… one part Milwaukee-bred, lead singer and songwriter David-Andrew “But You Can Call Me D.A.” Wallach, one part Boston-born-bred-and-boarded multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Max Drummey. Named after Daniel Chester French, the band doesn’t veer far from their namesake’s affinity for sculpting. Though, where Daniel carved stone, this duo dwells more in the place of subcultural sculpting through soundtracking the scene of the twenty-something teen.

Welcome, TNGRS. Not quite teenagers, not quite teens, never a tween, TNGRS are a specific demographic. We have self-esteem, Chester French knows this; thus is likely why the opening track on M4TNGRS is entitled: “Next Big Thing.” You have to believe in you, or no one else will.

The eleven-track collection is a reflection of this generation, that demographic caught beneath the gifted curse of being able to know everything, without direction on how to make proper sense of anything – drowning in information, starving for knowledge.  Yet and still, as products of this abbreviated era, Wallach and Drummey managed to soundtrack said uncertainty with a near-perfect identity LP for those twenteenagers in search of the throne.

Cowboy Boots on the Sunset Strip, Chop the Roof Off the German Whip… Party in the U.S.A.

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Quick little playlist to pulse the summer pavement… like when Blow Pops met the blacktop, or Hov met Hannah Montana #andajayzsongwason

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Cowboy boots on the Sunset Strip, drop the roof off the German whip… fringe element patriots don’t need you or your brand new Benz, or your bourgie friends… numb to love, blinded by diamonds… from Parisian royalty to glitterbombed PWT, these stars’ scars stay shining… plummeting to new depths of depravity, fame is the new america… classless, priceless, from the brink of Bed Stuy to the belly of the map, a playlist fit for Plymouth Roc, a bacchanalian beat for Benedict Arnold #whentheunitedwentcrack

***

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hopped off the plane at L.A.X.
With a dream and my cardigan…

Night in the Sweyepe: Talk in Colour, Floripa, Shoreditch, UK

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The Sirens: Talk in Colour (Chris Bangs – Cello and electronics, Dave Oliver – Drums, Kat Arney – Harp, Mary Erskine – Vocals and keyboards, Nick Siddall – Guitar)

The Stump: With a growing reputation for blistering live shows combining dirty bass lines with impressive musicianship, Talk In Colour launched their new album, Colliderscope, with a party at Floripa in east London on Wednesday 23rd May. By turns dark then uplifting, slipping effortlessly between pure instrumentals and vocal driven tracks, Talk In Colour defy easy categorisation. It’s no surprise that the band cite influences as far ranging as Lamb, Battles, The XX and Berlin-era Bowie, with a nod to Afrobeat and Alice Coltrane along the way. Together, the band blends electronic and organic instrumentation into a blistering aesthetic.

The Scene: When East London met fogo de chao – not the churrascaria, but the fire on the ground: Floripa…

SnappScenes: “No Church in the Wild,” The Throne

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The Throne… Black Jesus walks in the wild… Where there is no church, just a primal society of spectacular sinners in the magnificent monde a la mode… Amen fashion… London is looting, Paris is burning, New York is occupied, victors are vilified, and the beasts are the beautiful beacons of a new world… Postcolonial cultural institutions, Neo-capitalism beneath the civilly disobedient liberated lady, soundtracks run through the veins and veneer of a blind Justice Judy… Mitochondrial thieves, sons of Reagan’s mythological Welfare Queens, tears on the mausoleum floor, lies on the lips of a priest… Faustus grants voices, viles of victorious libations, and a hand to grasp to the thug’s prayers reached…. Human beings to a mob, what’s a mob to a king, what’s a king to a god, what’s a god to a non-believer who don’t believe in anything… #preach

December 22, 2011

Lyrically Speaking: “Baptized in Blacklight” – Kenna

Soundtrek

Good music speaks volumes… rather than impose analysis, step back and expose linguistic artistry… why critique that which has achieved perfection at its own masterful conception… listen, look, and linger in fantastic rhythmic reality: lyrically speaking

Lyrically Speaking: Stevie Wonder – “Living for the City”

Soundtrek

Good music speaks volumes… linger in fantastic rhythmic reality: lyrically speaking

A boy is born in hard time Mississippi
Surrounded by four walls that ain’t so pretty
His parents give him love and affection
To keep him strong moving in the right direction
Living just enough, just enough for the city…

Night in the Sweyepe: fIN at Bush Hall, London, UK

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The Sires: fiN (Jonny Garner – guitar, Simon Harding – drums, Luke Joyce – vocals, Kerry Lambert – bass)

The Stump: fiN played London’s Bush Hall Wednesday for the release of new single ‘Twenty Three/Eve’ on 16th April on Artisan Records. Debut single ‘The Artisan’, an almost entirely instrumental track which blends the epic darkness of Radiohead and the rock frenzy of Foo Fighters, brought fiN early adopters and began their quick succession of sell-out live shows. Second single ‘Rapture/Everybody Dies Alone’ followed earning the band glowing reviews and a packed out single launch at The Borderline.

The Scene: fiN navigted somewhere between the English Channel and the Pacific Ocean – possibly Route 66. Wednesday night in Shephard’s Bush LDR-esque oversaturated vintage Golden State reels bathed the porcelain walls of Bush Hall’s Victorian backing. Beneath chandeliers and a disco ball, heavy rich drums and lingering electric riffs drowned the tailored crowd in deliciously dense melodic metallic sound. fiN doesn’t have a bad side, or a bad angle. and they look like they sound – a meticulously motley crew of rocker types – grungy beach types, devil-may-care band with a James Dean-esque frontman donning Uncle Jesse hair #wontbehave

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The Sound: There’s endless love coasting along relentless rock hearkening to a freshly aged sound as golden as the beaches liberating the backdrop. Then there’s the depths as the waves crash along the proverbial shore. Pieces of the gig draw me back to Atlanta backwoods drives… damp pine-filled aromas lingering along with the beautifully ominous sounds of The Deftones… Ivory vapors of sound as tangible as the aural White Pony was eargasmic. Ever the crowd-pleasers and cognizant audiophiles, fiN covered The Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime.” “This is not my beautiful house,” vocals faded as the tone turned nostalgic from the vantage of a frontman living out every boy’s dream of being a rockstar. Childhood videos replaced Sixties propaganda films, pinup Hollywood captures, and black-and-white media clips that would make even Bernays and McLuhan blush at their own brainchildren come to life. Ushering out the political with the personal past, the aural artisans displayed a return to individuality over industry, within some capacity. “You don’t know yourself, lucky you…” closing mullings from maestros projecting shadows of a nostalgia never known, perhaps a most fitting foothold for a British Indie band on the brink.

There’s a touch of Fool’s Gold in between the Let’s-Muse-About-When-Radiohead-Fought-Foo sounds, glossed with a definite sense of Pop-Rock Yellowcard/Sum-41 feel, with some strong Alien Ant Farm undertones – an easily familiarizing American sound for an English band.

They dig their fans. They have the look. They’re kind of like if Skrillex met Lana del Ray.

Watch This Space: When “Life is Wasted on the Living” played out to archived clips of everyone from Richard Pryor and Freddie Mercury, to Princess Diana and Winston Churchill… As Joyce stood in an image not unlike Peter Petrelli – beyond pixie blonde bombshells, social architects, and Dean the Causeless Rebel himself – the crowd too believed, for a second, that we can all be rockstars; we can all be heroes.

TrapperKeeper: MDNA – Madonna

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MDNA… the last time I wrote those letters in said sequence was, well, four years ago when I was at AU studying Advanced Bio; proper Madonna album debut… the last time I sat down to indulge in one of those was, well, four years ago when I was in life living Advanced Pop. Those were different days, simpler days. Days where Hard Candy was a passable stab at soundtracking Pop’s sticky-and-sweet soul, until a few years later when we’re in the midst of the reality that it was more a passable set of fillings in the cavity-laden mouth of Mod Pop.

M-D-N-A… the last time I chanted those letters in said sequence was but a few moments ago when Pure Pop emerged from the cultural tar pits of Detroit born-and-bred, Euro wed-and-bedded electronic sublime filth that is “I’m Addicted” – that is the cosmic bass stealth anthem from the primary piece of modern Pop’s genome: M.D.N.A.

Incredible… Madonna doesn’t know how to love

SnapTrakks

madonna2

Easily one of the best produced Madonna tracks of her extensive catalog, the Pharrell masterpiece “Incredible” was just that – an incredible diamond in the rough desert that was 2008’s saccharin infused Hard Candy. I left the album for awhile, I’ve had my bouts, but a fresh set of ears delivered a 2012 revelation of apocalyptic sorts… “Incredible,” Hard Candy, this in all of its “thisness” that is going on now #lookitup is a most honest and sincere plea from the place of the detached deity…

Lyrically Speaking: “i” – Nicola Roberts

Soundtrek, TK:LA

Good music speaks volumes… rather than impose analysis, step back and expose linguistic artistry… why critique that which has achieved perfection at its own masterful conception… listen, look, and linger in fantastic rhythmic reality: lyrically speaking

I’m scared of dying and not trying, scared of getting old.
I’m scared of telling lies ’cause karma comes and eats me whole.
I’m scared to think about the devil ’cause he takes my soul.
I’m scared of parties, scared of nightmares, scared I’ll lose control.
I don’t like druggies, don’t like bad men, don’t like bitchy girls.
Don’t think it’s healthy holding grudges that won’t save the world.
I don’t like nasty words, they hurt me like you never know.
But don’t think I won’t put on a smiley face and do the show.

Live-Fi: Florrie – HMV’s Next Big Thing, Barfly Camden, London

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Pop. Out. My. Ears. #yes

The Siren: Florrie Arnold

The Scene: Snow, ice, pints, and Summer Nights… on the outside: London’s first snow of the year, on the inside: the strobed sublime of HMV’s Next Big Thing – snowballs and disco balls make for a splendid sonic nightcap. Roughly speaking, Barfly hosted a beautiful melange of art gallery purveyor types, thirty-something Euro/Dance Pop aficionados, twenty-something knit hooded hipsters, Camden characters, low-key Diesel-and-cardigan donning Pop fiends, raven-haired East London teens… moustaches, brown leather satchels and black rimmed glasses, cocktail dresses, red lipstick and suede heels, scarves and sailor stripes… On the floor: an Anglophilic audience with a distinct taste for Xenomania; at the helm: a doe-eyed, denim-donning neo-disco diamond in the rough behind a pulsing pokerface bluff, and the beat of her own drum #litrally

The Sound: All the best bits of Brit-and-Synth-Pop – period. Much like a fine wine, or the Fugees break-up, Florrie’s stint as an unsigned artist yields a product that gets better with time. Saturday’s set list covered her relatively brief back solo catalogue, spanning both her Introduction (“Left too Late,” “Summer Nights,” “Give Me Your Love“) and Experiments (“Begging Me,” “I Took A Little Something,” “Experimenting with Rugs,” “What You Doing This For”) EPs, and throwing some new tracks in the mix (“Without A Trace,” “Go“).

SnappScenes: “Bad Girls” – M.I.A.

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Live fast, die young… #badgirlsdoitwell… Maya Arulpragasm like the Mayans – had it right… even when wrong:

It turns out that the Mayans had it right. History is a giant alarm clock. As the bell starts to ring, we awaken from the dream, and remember who we are.

Bad Girls… from Eve and Mary (and Magdalene), to Cleopatra and Nefertiti, from Frida and Josephine, to Eleanor and Marilyn – are the backbone of wake-up calls and real talk, courtesy of rogue revelry. #doitwell

Top-to-Bottom two cents #topback: History is a giant alarm clock, and discographies are giant phonographs… as the bell starts to ring, and the needle hits the groove, we awaken from the scene, and remember who we are… This year, Maya got back into the groove: Kala style.

SnappScenes: “Give Me All Your Luvin'” ft. Nicki Minaj & M.I.A. – Madonna

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Oh that Madge… I can’t help it, I’ve got the biggest Cheshire grin plastered above my chin right now…

See the thing about it is, I wanted to not like this video – hear me out: I wanted to not like this video because after the hoopla and hype, after the media blitzes and reductionism, this era was gearing up to be the bark of Confessions with the bite of Hard Candy #notgreat then, there’s the distractions and the white noise pulling attention from the product at hand and towards the peripheral gossip… in a nutshell: I was ready to not like this video for the same reason I was gearing up to not like Born This Way – because people were going Gaga over Madonna; but lo and behold… Pop never lets you down.

Lyrically Speaking: Jay-Z – “Beach Chair” ft. Chris Martin & “Glory” ft. Blue Ivy

SnapTrakks

Good music speaks volumes… rather than impose analysis, step back and expose linguistic artistry… why critique that which has achieved perfection at its own masterful conception… listen, look, and linger in fantastic rhythmic reality: lyrically speaking

Life is but a dream to me, I don’t wanna wake up
Thirty odd years without having my cake up
So I’m about my paper: 24/7, 365,366 in a leap year
I don’t know why we here, since we gotta be here
Life is but a beach chair
Went from having shabby clothes, crossing over Abbey Roads
Hear my angels singing to me: “Are you happy HOV?”
I just hope I’m hearing right, Karma’s got me fearing life
Colleek are you praying for me

See I got demons in my past, so I got daughters on the way
If the prophecy’s correct, then the child should have to pay
for the sins of a father; so I barter my tomorrows against my yesterdays
In hopes that she’ll be OK
And when I’m no longer here, to shade her face from the glare
I’ll give her my share of Carol’s Daughter and a new beach chair…

TrapperKeeper – Best of 2011: Born This Way

SnapTrakks, Soundtrek

Oh, hai “that time of year again,” didn’t hear you come in – well, have a seat and make yourself comfortable. I’m not spectacular at year-end reviews… I prefer life like I prefer my albums: gapless. That said, I hat-tipped five artists, songs, and albums that made me pause and take time to jot the time and place – year included – over the last 300-someodd days; and five creations that embodied and encapsulated sonic aesthetic for 2011. To the five I take, to have and to hold; forever like a TrapperKeeper, Pop safe in the fold. #enjoi

“The Edge of Glory,” “Judas” – Born This Way – Lady Gaga

But, first, a word from our sponsor…

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… and now back to our regularly scheduled Popgramming

TrapperKeeper – Best of 2011: Watch The Throne

Soundtrek

Oh, hai “that time of year again,” didn’t hear you come in – well, have a seat and make yourself comfortable. I’m not spectacular at year-end reviews… I prefer life like I prefer my albums: gapless. That said, I hat-tipped five artists, songs, and albums that made me pause and take time to jot the time and place – year included – over the last 300-someodd days; and five creations that embodied and encapsulated sonic aesthetic for 2011. To the five I take, to have and to hold; forever like a TrapperKeeper, Pop safe in the fold. #enjoi

“No Church in the Wild” ft. Frank Ocean and The-Dream – Watch the Throne – Jay-Z & Kanye West

We formed a new religion: no sins as long as there’s permission, and deception is the only felony…

The Throne… Black Jesus walks in the wild… Where there is no church, just a primal society of spectacular sinners in the magnificent monde a la mode… Amen fashion… London is looting, Paris is burning, New York is occupied, victors are vilified, and the beasts are the beautiful beacons of a new world… Postcolonial cultural institutions, Neo-liberal capitalism beneath the civilly disobedient liberated lady, soundtracks run through the veins and veneer of a blind Justice Judy… Mitochondiral thieves, sons of Reagan’s mythological Welfare Queens, tears on the mausoleum floor, lies on the lips of a priest… Faustus grants voices, viles of victorious libations, and a hand to grasp to the thug’s prayers reached…. Human beings to a mob, what’s a mob to a king, what’s a king to a god, what’s a god to a non-believer who don’t believe in anything… When pop is the pre-eminent place of worship and The Throne makes room for Jo Calderone… what’s Queen Bee to Minaj, what’s Minaj to a Bey, what’s Britney to GaGa, what’s GaGa to the tot Belieber who don’t believe in anything… #preach

TrapperKeeper – Best of 2011: Audio, Video, Disco.

Soundtrek

Oh, hai “that time of year again,” didn’t hear you come in – well, have a seat and make yourself comfortable. I’m not spectacular at year-end reviews… I prefer life like I prefer my albums: gapless. That said, I hat-tipped five artists, songs, and albums that made me pause and take time to jot the time and place – year included – over the last 300-someodd days; and five creations that embodied and encapsulated sonic aesthetic for 2011. To the five I take, to have and to hold; forever like a TrapperKeeper, Pop safe in the fold. #enjoi

“Civilization” – Audio, Video, Disco. – Justice

From Brazil’s Christ Redeemer to B.o.B, Stonehenge to the endless Sk8er Boi party, Madonna Litta eclipsed by the Purrs of California’s Kitty Lolita, Easter Island, Themis, The Sphinx, man-made structures bordering on the divine – resurrected here if only to remind us of what we left behind… All Day I Dream About Significance, Society, Substance, Something – anything more… Mount Rushmore cashed out, Noah’s Ark now nothing more than a two-by-tomb, while the ruins of civilization go all in, stumble, and settle in the Mediated Mesopotamian womb… From behind the veil of the ever present bottom line, sights of the American celebrity to drown out the French artisan’s sound… when culture is dependent upon commerce, justice remains forever blind: Anything less would be uncivilized #allin

TrapperKeeper – Best of 2011: Underneath the Pine

Soundtrek

Oh, hai “that time of year again,” didn’t hear you come in – well, have a seat and make yourself comfortable. I’m not spectacular at year-end reviews… I prefer life like I prefer my albums: gapless. That said, I hat-tipped five artists, songs, and albums that made me pause and take time to jot the time and place – year included – over the last 300-someodd days; and five creations that embodied and encapsulated sonic aesthetic for 2011. To the five I take, to have and to hold; forever like a TrapperKeeper, Pop safe in the fold. #enjoi

“Go With You” – Underneath the Pine – Toro Y Moi

I don’t know how, how we’re gonna get out; but I’m not scared, of getting point to point

Whimsical, yet weathered… a post-suicidal virgin’s rhytmically respiratory ambient air… subtle psychedelic melodies wafting along  the breeze… Bundick hums beneath the fragile funk’s pine, coasting along the roots of Seventies soundtracks… xylophonic keys echo in the distance, just beyond the hushed vocals… looping and laying a fresh foundation for tomorrow’s sonic dawn, or tonight’s dusked nightcap… speak easy, synth soundly, step lightly, but strut nonetheless along the harmonic chillwave hymnal of Toro Y Moi…

TrapperKeeper – Best of 2011: Subway in Harlem 2: Breakfast in Philly

Soundtrek, TK:NYC, Vinyl Cut Prose

Oh, hai “that time of year again,” didn’t hear you come in – well, have a seat and make yourself comfortable. I’m not spectacular at year-end reviews… I prefer life like I prefer my albums: gapless. That said, I hat-tipped five artists, songs, and albums that made me pause and take time to jot the time and place – year included – over the last 300-someodd days; and five creations that embodied and encapsulated sonic aesthetic for 2011. To the five I take, to have and to hold; forever like a TrapperKeeper, Pop safe in the fold. #enjoi

“SaturdayMorningKungFu” – Subway in Harlem 2: Breakfast in Philly Savvy Society

SUBWAYINHARLEM-coverweb

Night in the Sweype: Toro Y Moi, The Relentless Garage, Highbury, London

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The Sire: Chaz “Toro Y Moi” Bundick

The Sound: Chillwave/Eighties Synth-Funk

The Scene: The Relentless Garage, Highbury, London, UK

Toro Y Moi graced East London with the infectious sounds of his South Carolinian synth-wave swelter on Wednesday at Canonbury’s Relentless Garage. The venue packed 600 people in a mingling of Red Stripes and sailor stripes: yuppies, hipsters, blipsters, iPhone photographers, and Instagrandmas on sway in a hazy hole-in-the-wall. The mood was mellow, the bassline ebb, beasted, flowed, and bellowed, as Chaz Bundick brought his signature Southern Hipstertality to Highbury.

SnappScenes: “Marry the Night,” Lady Gaga

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You can reproduce your past, you can rewrite your present, you can dictate your future… beneath the metronomic hum of the running film reel Gaga brings the monster from the hub of the city to the heart and soul of her own fatally fame-laden tale…

If you knight it then you should’ve put a ring on it…

BlinkkIt: #bam Manhattan’s Pop monarch came back after three betrayals to bring Brooklyn’s Finest’s line to fruition… closing out Born This Way with a single that slays the sanctimony of matrimony and raises a glass to the twice-kissed sinners… “Birthdays was the worst days, now we sip champagne when we thirstay;” here’s to all of your future pain being champagne. #cheerstotearsontap

Night in the Sweype: Little Boots “Shake” Launch Party – London

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The Siren: Victoria “Little Boots” Hesketh

The Sound: Neo-Disco Electro-synth Brit-Pop

The Scene: Black and Gold, Blue-eyed synth soul… Lights, Camera, Passion in an East London Secret Warehouse… Half rave cave, half Factory foyer… Shake it ’til you make it, then make it shake… While you’re at it: shake it ’til your heart breaks and deluges limitless sonic sublime across the scape…

Night in the Sweyepe: Red Hot Chili Peppers & Fool’s Gold Live at The O2

Live, Soundtrek, TK:LDN

Standin’ in line to see the show tonight, and there’s a light on… heavy glow; by the way, I tried to say I’d be there… waiting for…

November in Britain: cold, dark, a tad bit secluded… but at the end of the day, there’s nothing more electrifying than a Chili night in London…

Lyrically Speaking: “Pigeon Hold” – Port O’Brien

SnapTrakks, Soundtrek

Good music speaks volumes… rather than impose analysis, step back and expose linguistic artistry… why critique that which has achieved perfection at its own masterful conception… listen, look, and linger in fantastic rhythmic reality: lyrically speaking

There’s a party in the basement, but the door outside is locked
There’s a line all around the corner, and it goes all around the block
And they think they’re acting clever, they think they’re gettin’ wise
They’re a Twenty-First Century rendition of 1969: so pigeonholed

Lyrically Speaking: Lily Allen – “Kabul Sxxt”

Soundtrek

Good music speaks volumes… rather than impose analysis, step back and expose linguistic artistry… why critique that which has achieved perfection at its own masterful conception… listen, look, and linger in fantastic rhythmic reality: lyrically speaking

 

There’s a hole in our logic
There’s a hole in the sky
And one day just like magic
We’re all going to die
‘Cause we didn’t turn the lights off
And we didn’t take the bus
Even though we know we should have
Oh, silly old us

Vinyl Cut Prose: Black Jesus † Amen Fashion (Mugler Remix)

A.V Hub, Soundtrek, TK:LDN, Vinyl Cut Prose

Sometimes… my heart, sometimes, feels so black…in the dunes of sand… and other days, my heart feels like rainbows. Mugler. Mugler. Amen. Jesus is the new black. I am Mugler woman. I am quiet; I am strong. Amen. Planet Mugler. Mugler. Gaga. I am Mugler Woman. Don’t f*ck with me. Don’t f*ck with Mugler. Don’t f… f… Don’t f*ck with Mugler woman. Mugler. Scheiße. Say a prayer… Take me, Paris. I am Paris; we are Paris. Do not anger a Mugler woman; she will eat you. Planet Mugler. I will eat you. I will eat you… Mugler, Mugler… Jesus is the new black. I am Mugler woman. I am quiet; I am strong. Amen. Welcome to Paris. It’s Fashion Week. We are Paris.

BlinkkBeats: “Sunset Chimps-Élysées (VMA 2011 EP),” Art Nouveau

SnapTrakks, Soundtrek, TK:NYC

Welcome to VMA 2011: no host, west coast, teenage dreams, saccharin-infused schemes – welcome to the odd future #bonjournaggers

At this juncture it’s safe to say we’re all slaves to the throne… some of us, say it better than others #namelythus That said, it’s safer to say we’re all slaves to a throne of indentured servants, who may or may not even belong at said royal table… #kanyeshrugsandotherthugs Who says you can’t ball out when the bottom falls out? Not America – because these colors don’t run; but if not these colors running the world – then who? #girls That said, every court needs a jester, or Jordan #jacksontyson #takeyourpick #six so for this year’s VMAs – the world is a soundstage, the stars are in the building, and amidst the bevy of deafeningly adamant ambiguity we have a soundtrack to keep the beat right on par with said backdrop: VMA 2011 EP – Welcome to the Beautiful Dark Twisted Sunset Boulevard of Golden Schemes and Silver Screens…

Blinkkit: “We’re going to skate to one song, and one song only.” This year the throne came home – and by home I mean industry royalty reflected “those ones.” You know… the ones who shouldn’t have been here at all – The Help that helped themselves to a seat at the table. When banks are broke, the broke make bank #namely.

Vinyl Cut Prose: “Beautiful (Inside Out)” Britney Spears x Alexxx (Mash-Up)

SnapTrakks, Soundtrek, TK:NYC

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Pop is pastiche at its finest; sometimes you need nothing more than to collect the right pieces and be the sound canvas. Half of Pop is creating the story, the other half is capturing the stars in that momentary align when the stories converge to recognize themselves…

#mindvomit The antidote, the venom, the anti-Inside Out… the cause and cure… remove the death and danger by facing the cobra head on… when what you see what you lack, and selfish love goes back to black… it takes but a mere glance in the shattered glass to change one back… Britney manifest here by manipulation – seemingly for the first time ever, for her own good – to see her fragmented self as wholly true and entirely blue… tiful

Sittin in the mirror gettin’ pretty… when the fairest of them all met the most fatally feminine fall…

#xrayedpsychoticlovesickhypnotic

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Amy, Amy, Amy… Fare Thee Well, Immortal Parallel

Soundtrek, TK:NYC

Amy, Amy, Amy… I know I’ve been here before… Amy, Amy, Amy… she’s just too hard to ignore… Rhythmically she spins a spell – I know she’d wear me well… Amy, Amy, Amy… where’s her moral parallel?

Amy Jade Winehouse was our holiday. She was our release, our renaissance, our rehabilitation, and our rhythmic residency. She was her own body of work; she lived in the music, and through that magnificent manifestation she created a parallel world within and apart from the everyday mainstream anything.

In the midst of Neo-Prohibition Era America where false was ideal, imperial nudity was lauded, and deuces wild were on deck, Winehouse was our haven beneath said house of cards. Amy was a release. She was our speakeasy, her voice resonated with us as the hidden-in-plain-view perfection of human imperfection. She birthed a culture through her tales of love lost, found, and for which her heart would forever fiend. Her music brought us from the throes of auto-tune, from the perils of saccharine-infused ringtone jingles, high and away from the collective race to the bottom that was 2007.

She was our vantage into the vintage; our very own halfway point between Scott Joplin’s Post-Victorian Era Ragtime revolution, injecting the joie de vivre back into the mainstream, and Janis Joplin’s Post-Pleasantville Americana Blue-Eyed Psychedelic Soul. Amy was the embodiment of the Neo-Prohibition Jazz Era of modern music. She was the cause and the cure for our every cultural ailment. She was the radiant child, wise beyond her years – the rebellious child – but from the mouth of the basement baroness babe spoke truth.

She provided a place for us to turn when the clock struck five, following our every dogged day, mourning every minute after the ninth lie.  She was our happy hour. She was our winehouse – our own special place where humanity was okay, where everyone was in the dark together, where the soul and the sin were the norm. Beneath the blinding light, neither she nor we knew better than what we had – and after nearly a decade of lost everything, all we had was our lone selves.

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BlinkkBeats: “OTIS,” Kanye West & Jay-Z

SnapTrakks, Soundtrek, TK:NYC

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Pop is pastiche at its finest; sometimes you need nothing more than to collect the right pieces and be the sound canvas. Half of Pop is creating the story, the other half is capturing the stars in that momentary align when the stories converge to recognize themselves…

Snap, Crackle, Pop: Van Go Lion Doesn’t Miss A Beat

SnapTrakks, TK:NYC

Start with a cheerio, pour on some milk, add a heavy-handed dose of synth sweetener, and you’ve got Van Go Lion’s British debut, “We Don’t Miss A Beat:” proof that an earful of VGL does the body good, and a spoonful of sugar makes the melody get down.

Love these kids, every track is like Pop Just Desserts for breakfast… #wakeuptomusic

Watch This Space: They’re armed for 8-bit battle, and deliciously digitized #literally

A Day in the Sweyepe… Curbside Jamiroquai says ‘Smile, Poor Humans’

Soundtrek, TK:NYC

New York has more culture in one sidewalk square than some towns have in their entirety – and it is the only City.

If only said streets could talk…

… they would lament the passing of footprints for Facebooks… former world citizens locked behind Windows… the death of the denizen in light of the digital domain… the detachment from nature, the self-inflicted exile from stoops and sidewalks en route to a metaspacial superhighway… the ever-increasing distance between neighbors, the inhumanity of modern man… the rapture of the human soul, the cavity of urban decay upon the human condition… the plight of used people in the midst of adored products… profits superseding prophets… and the bottom line suffocating the technicolor dream… the peril of the poor human – a requiem fit for the most divine of creatures, those most virtuously insane: the denizens

not for nothing – and never to be overlooked, nor forgotten – is the everlasting human spark… the innate nature of good

VCP Mixology: El Cobre’s Dark and Stormy

SnapTrakks, Soundtrek, TK:NYC

A splash of symphonics, a dose of distilled spirits, twist of turntablism on tap, chilled swelter of the most aurally intoxicating blend… resting forever assured it will satisfy most any fiending trap… Mix me a beat fit for the most keen of tongues, and cultured of eardrums… intoxicate me: i’m a lush #inthelyricalsense

“New York has more alcohol in one establishment, than most cities have on entire blocks…” I live life like the classics… I choose three steps over twelve any day… eat, drink, be merry… I feast on socio-philosophy, I sip on life’s most delicious libations, and music makes this muse the merriest of all… in a city that is The City… in the comsopolitan metropolis that puts other microcosms to shame… Each drummer marches to their own beat, just as each bartender mixes to their own drink…

Tunes on Tap: #avotresantebushebushe

ADIMAS :: In Memoriam: “Civilization”

A.V Hub, Soundtrek, TK:NYC, Vinyl Cut Prose

On this of all days, it’s important that we take time to remember those we’ve lost en route to creating a more profitable union… that gated community upon the dollar bill *a moment of silence for civilization*

#alldayimemeaboutscene

Culture – Commerce = Civilization

From Brazil’s Christ Redeemer to B.o.B, Stonehenge to the endless Sk8er Boi party, Madonna Litta eclipsed by the Purrs of California’s Kitty Lolita, Easter Island, Themis, The Sphinx, man-made structures bordering on the divine – resurrected here if only to remind us of what we left behind… All Day I Dream About Significance, Society, Substance, Something – anything more… Mount Rushmore cashed out, Noah’s Ark now nothing more than a two-by-tomb, while the ruins of civilization go all in, stumble, and settle in the Mediated Mesopotamian womb…

From behind the veil of the ever present bottom line, sights of the American celebrity to drown out the French artisan’s sound… when culture is dependent upon commerce, justice remains forever blind

Watch This Space: Anything less would be uncivilized #allin

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… Like Blood Flowing Through the Veins of Bad Kids: Born This Way is One Hell of A Drug

Soundtrek, TK:NYC

“I don’t want to be part of the machine – I want the machine to be part of me.

lady_gaga_born_this_way_cover_110419:
Born This Way
is
a perfect record. It is uncomfortably euphoric. First spins are ideally experienced with a few close friends, or those who have spun before; likely obtained through contraband means however – the first spin is usually experienced in the wee hours of the night or morning… where the rush of the synesthetic synthetic splendor triggering peaks and valleys – previously unfathomed – comes with a conscious uncertainty: as to whether you like it or hate it, whether or not said rush is result of the product itself, or the hype surrounding and building up to the first taste, and whether or not this is in actuality real life, some surreal fantasy – or just the delirious drunkenness of well-deserved fatigue… It’s personal, political, public, and cultural; it’s the social catalyst, sedative, signpost and staple; it’s the universal shared experience, and the pre-eminent polarizing sign of the times – like blood flowing through the veins of a buncha bad kids: Born This Way is a trip down Alice’s glitter way – and one hell of a drug. #rhythmicrapture

First Spin Saturdays: Lady GaGa’s “Born This Way”

Soundtrek, TK:NYC

If nothing else, a new GaGa release means new blood #literally… check out my friend, fellow music writer, and connoisseur of #prettykewl things, Corey Bell’s “At First Listen” of Lady GaGa’s Born This Way…


We all know that Lady GaGa has a pretty wild and vivid imagination.  This is quite obvious when it comes to her sense of fashion and her elaborate music videos and stage sets.  It is also very prevalent in her music, as we, her adoring and yet often puzzled fans, hang on her every lyric and note.  So it should come as no surprise that her new album, the heavily awaited and almost excessively promoted Born This Way, does not yield boring results in terms of being imaginative.

In my opinion, it borders on the bizarre.

Prose & Pastiche: “Run The World (Girls)” Video – Beyonce

A.V Hub, biorhythmic, Soundtrek, TK:NYC

The modern music industry’s Mitochondrial Eve returns with a fervor to prove – once again – that despite all patriarchal restrictions and destruction: she who bears the womb… the forever battlefield, and said burden… is she who is best equipped to commandeer the cultural revolution. Who rev the world? Girls.

The revolution will be feminized. She who betrayed Jesus, she who betrayed Adam, she who bears the weight of said world on her naturally sinful shoulders, in her superseding of submission, will ascend to prominence; born to blossom, bloom to perish, just as man destroyed that which he cannot create, so in the wake of destruction and suspension in social smolder, here woman returns to bear life again… Strong enough to bear the children, then get back to business


Who run the world? Girls. Girls, women, females have the unparalleled capacity to create life. Despite all social constructs, religious constraints, and artificial inferiorities women are able to create something lasting, something outside of themselves, and from their sin comes the succession – well, that, or a dance nation… my persuasion can build a nation #literally

#inanutshell Self-reference and atmospheric concept #letsbeyhonest #independentringonit

Play of the Day: Clockwork Orchestra – “Mummer”

A.V Hub, TK:NYC, Vinyl Cut Prose

Clockwork Orchestra is a quirky electronic band led by Irish oddball Mango. His songs sound something like broken toys, miserable old men, vintage children’s TV shows, rotting fish, burning plastic and digital clown nightmares.

Clockwork Orchestra is a blueprint citrus symphonic. Hailing from Dublin with a sound hearkening to a soundtrack of life cinematic – think one part Alexander McQueen, one part Arthur Burgess, and a heavy dose of clockwork quirk.

SnappScenes: “Judas” – Lady Gaga

A.V Hub, TK:NYC, Vinyl Mind Flow

Three days later… minds are made for swiping, and that’s just what they’ll do, and one of these days – or three – Swipe’s mind vomits all over you #inthemostbiblicalsense

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In the cultural sense: Gaga smited her own spoken futuristic pretense; in the most biblical sense – her lips behave beyond repentance: a miss’ single kiss birthing culture from the crucifix – by all means, sir, take offense.

BlinkkBeats: Beth Ditto – “I Wrote The Book”

SnapTrakks, Soundtrek, TK:NYC

Beth Ditto is why you don’t teach girls how to read or write – because they rhythmically hold it against you when you lie about who you were with last night.

You break it off, I’ll break you down
The world is full of good intentions
Paradise is full of lies
Tell you they love you but fail to mention
Who they were with again last night

BlinkkIt

Education isn’t only the motivation: it’s contagious locomotion; catchier than phonic rocks – Ditto’s book hooks. Shakers, stark swelter, MIDI percussion, vengeance verve, dark disco structured splash, heavy early-mid nineties R&B synth carbon beats, fixed reverb, cold heat, black-and-white sonic aesthetics juxtaposed static layers and fluid forms bury the night.

Vinyl Cut Prose: Wes Montgomery

SnapTrakks, TK:NYC

Mr. Wes is in the building…

Don’t worry about reading… enjoy the sounds, and focus your mind on nothing more than the natural exchange of simply breathing… just settle down, calm your nerves, and fall into the rhythmic splendor that is Wes Montgomery’s swelteringly smooth mood… A day in the life of the sonic summertime Cyrano, right around midnight…

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BlinkkBeats: Britney Spears – “Till The World Ends” (Remix) ft. Nicki Minaj & Ke$ha

biorhythmic, SnapTrakks, TK:NYC

Brit and The Bic spark the firework as Good Friday brings 2011’s crucifixition of culture courtesy of Pop: for those who think young *ding*

When the dust settles at the feet of Rihanna’s brothel, and Madam Spears breaks away from the featureit becomes glaringly clear that when placed in the company of her peers and those whom she preceded – Britney is best as the ringmaster, swag over doccious – all eyes on the three-ring-circus… in a beautiful demise upon Neo-Roman American eyes… the products of Pop’s most prominent puppeted puppeteer… Nicki Minaj… Ke$ha… sounding off as pop donatellas from the shoulders of their predecessor Spears, and simultaneously protecting the legacy of that very same ill-fated musing godmother…

BlinkkBeats: “Voyeur,” LectroLips

SnapTrakks, TK:NYC

The LectroLips boys are back in town… with an electronically-fueled, invasively-visual record sound…

A quick-and-dirty post for a quick-and-dirty pair from across the pond.

BlinkkIt: Sound rides in on the lightly warped horseback of Madonna’s confessional future love… “I would like… to be your clone…” vocodors like Sebastien Tellier’s twin with a British tone… then the kick drum stomps – bum. bum-bum. BUM. BUM-BUM – less Tom Green, more Euro-synthed-dance-scene #thatsagoodthing Ambient waves crash under a raw percussion-piano pound, the fever pitched “I like to watch – voyeur, voyeur” vocal crown, the peaked aerial crescendo mounds – and calm: “I want to taste… you ecstatic…” #eargasmic “I want you to slip… into something… more uncomfortable…” never sounded so engaging – in a musically matrimonial way.