Archive for May, 2008

Courtesy of Kevin Nottingham comes a legit leak of a Spectac album recorded in 2002-03 and produced by the great 9th Wonder. Most of you are probably familiar with 9th Wonder from his work with Little Brother. His trademark laid back grooves put the sway in hipsway. Spectac is less known. He’s a South Carolina underground freestyler, whose worked with lots of great ones including Large Professor, Tribe Called Quest, Akaneleye, Dana Dane, Big Daddy Kane, Little Brother . . . He’s got a sound pretty typical for the region—not too much foul language, mostly slow and smooth drawl. It’s an easy flow, perfect for mellow moods. It is well suited for
9th Wonder’s beats.

The record is a FREE online exclusive release from Git it.

THE CLASH: May 16, 1981

Posted: May 31, 2008 by dillion in Uncategorized

This is an incomplete set from a very good quality boot. You can read about the boot here, but my CD has songs that aren’t in the order listed here. I’m not positive about the lineage of this, so if anyone has input, lemme know.

A few tastes and a zip.

The Clash are the greatest band that ever lived.

London Calling
(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais
Lightning Strikes
Radio Clash
Magnificent Seven
I Fought the Law
One More Time


Posted: May 30, 2008 by dillion in Uncategorized

The Hood Internet (D.J.s STV SLV and ABX) is one of those websites that’s hit-or-miss, but is consistently entertaining. Technically, what they make are mash-ups, but they often are so seamless that they come off more as remixes than mashes. They’re the ones behind the “The Hood Internet vs. Lykke Li” mixtape, a short remix/mash album of she-who-will-probably-be-hyped-to-death-all-over-the-blogosphere. You can still find that release on their site, and I highly recommend it. “I’m Good, I’m Ghost,” which mashes Lykke with Holy Ghost, sounds more like an official remix than a mash-up; there’s nothing awkward here, no misplaced beats, no out-of-sync transitions. It’s stellar, and in some ways it actually improves upon the original. They’re not all this good (“Zdarlight Department” is kind of dull), but they are all this professional.

There’s lots of other tidbits there, including their first mixtape, which mashes R. Kelly’s “I’m a Flirt” with Broken Social Scene, to fantastic effect.

But they’ve also just announced the release of their new free digital release, “The Hood Internet vs.
Chicago.” It’s 23 songs long, featuring Wilco, Kanye West, Andrew Bird, The Cool Kids, The Smashing
Pumpkins, R Kelly, and more. Check out “Simple X-plosion,” which has Diverse vs Andrew Bird, or the Lupe mash up, “I Gotcha Trees. You probably won’t like every song, but there are some real gems here.

I’m Good, I’m Ghost (Lykke Li vs. Holy Ghost)

I’m a Flirt (R. Kelly vs. Broken Social Scene)

“Watch My Big Feet Jump (Dude N’ Dem vs. Twista vs. Office)


Posted: May 29, 2008 by dillion in Uncategorized

Who’s yer daddy?

J-LIVE-“And Then What Happened?”

Posted: May 29, 2008 by dillion in Uncategorized J-Live is certainly one of the best rappers to come out of Hotlanta (via NY). His debut, “The Best Part,” was instant intelligent hoodlum classic, with production by Pete Rock, DJ Premier, Prince Paul and 88 Keys. His fourth and most recent release is his best since then, right down to another all-star team behind the boards.

It begins with “One to 31,” a how-I-became-a-rapper tune that interestingly, it mixes verses with an “interview” retrospective of his career. The last line of the tune, of course, is “And then what happened?” The answer is the rest of the record. It’s a cool conceit, unlike any intro cut I’ve ever heard. And as for the beats, it’s produced by DJ Jazzy Jeff. (Unlike his partner, Will Smith, Jeff has pursued true hip hop and became an exceptional producer.)

The album keeps you guessing, and keeps changing: “The Last Third” is jazz based, and tells the story of his divorce accompanied by Paul Litteral on trumpet; “Be No Slave” has a slow DJ Evil Dee groove; it might have been an LL Cool J beat, but it’s a conscious tune about holding your head up, not a seduction rap; and on “The Upgrade” J-Live is joined by Posdnous (of De La Soul) on a fantastic, sunny jam that should be blasting out of every beach boombox this summer. (And it should teach Jay-Z and Timbaland a thing or two about how to produce a meaningful club banger.) And I have to mention “We Are!,” produced by DJ Spinna, where J-Live uses the soundbed as a vital, organic part of the song, writing verses that sync perfectly with the samples accompanying them—effectively making Spinna a background singer.

But what about the lyrics? Glad you asked. J-Live is full of great lines—just about every verse is quotable, from “What You Holdin?” (“this empire strikes black!”) to It Don’t Stop” (“Them horns you heard wasn’t Taps, it was reveille”) to “The Zone,” which takes the listener back to “when rap didn’t sound like asscrack/Back to when you was wack, you got laughed at/Not souped up and jacked for your ASCAP.”

There’s only a few guest stars, like Chali 2na (Jurassic 5) on The Zone, Pos, and Oddy Gato, but J
doesn’t need them. He can handle the record all by himself. The final track, “You Out There,” produced by Nicolay, is appropriately wistful, and left me asking . . . “And what next?”

The Upgrade-J-Live, feat. Posdanous & Oddisee

Bruce Springsteen Aa to Zz (the sequel!)

Posted: May 28, 2008 by dillion in Uncategorized

Bruce thinks he is sexy.

I’ve done a slew of Bruce cover posts in the past, including a war, which he won, with The Rolling Stones and The Boss A to Z. Oh, and of course this great Patterson Hood show, too. So how can I possibly have more? Dunno. But I do. Mebbe it’s ’cause he’s the father to many of indie rock’s foundational acts, from Arcade Fire to The Hold Steady. So, here’s what’s accrued since the last time. As usual, there’s a zip file with the songs that aren’t direct-linked here (i.e., all the savefile songs and where noted). Enjoy.

A is for attempted, but failed. Camper Van Beethoven tries to do Bruce Springsteen.

B is for I’m On Fire-Bat for Lashes. This isn’t a favorite Bruce tune of mine–the lyrics are good, but it’s a little dull musically. But this version kicks ass.

C is for Cover Me’s Bruuuuuuuuce post. (I may have miscounted by “U”s.) It’s a good one. If any of the links are dead, bother him, not me.

D is for the Drive Bys! Buttholeville State Trooper (Bruce Springsteen)>Buttholeville-Drive By Truckers

E is for Edmunds! From Small Things-Dave Edmunds. Way past his prime, but Dave can still shred.

F is for fanboy. Bon Jovi should admit that they owe their entire careers to Bruce. And Howard Stern. I remember when BJ were just a few punks from Jerzey, when Howard got them a limo and had them play Club Bonet for him. They were instant successes. They never give Howie enough credit. Badlands-Bon Jovi (live).

G is for Patty Griffin-Stolen Car (aiff file in zip file.)

H is for Hungry Heart-Jesse Malin. Supposedly, Jesse has an all-covers album coming out, but I haven’t found it anywhere. Can’t wait to hear it. He’s a dude who I don’t dig his own stuff, but all his covers are fantastic.

I is for Interpretation. As in, radical interpretation. I’m guilty of not being a fan of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy–don’t much care for his new album, either–but this album he did with progressive instrumentalists Tortoise is extraordinary. I recommend copping the whole damn thing. (It was titled “The Brave and The Bold”.) Thunder Road-Tortoise and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy.

J is for Spirit of the Night-Just Like Me (live).

K is for kill yoursef, which is what you might want to do after you hear Minnie Driver mangle “Hungry Heart” on Blowin’ Your Cover’s Rock and Roll Suicide post.

K is also for Kathleen Edwards-I’m On Fire. She’s one of the most underrated alt-country singers around.

L is for Local H, who graced the stage on Halloween dressed like Bruce and did a really great set of nothing but Bruce covers. I highly recommend you go here and get the whole show, but if you’re just inclined to get one track then . . .

M is for movie. In addition to writing “Light of Day” for Joan Jett to perform alongside Michael J. Fox, Bruce wrote “On the Dark Side” for Eddie and the Cruisers. Here’s Local H doing it.

M is also for Backstreets-Maria McKee (live version). One of my all-time favorite Bruce tunes.

N is for Matt Nathanson. Matt’s bounced between major labels and indies, but he’s never asked me for a review. Damn shame, ’cause he’d get one for sure. He’s also a big Bruce fan. As evidenced by the following covers.

Brilliant Disguise (better than the original!)
No Surrender
Thunder Road (my all-time fave Bruce tune)

O is for No Surrender-One Reason (live version, in the zip file).

P is for Born to Run-Phish.

Q is for If I Should Fall Behind-Quiet Line

R is for Racing in the Streets-Townes Van Zandt.

S and T are for Sara and Tegan! Dancing In The Dark (live version)-Tegan and Sara

T is also for Tougher Than the Rest-Mendoza Line

U is for I’m on Fire-Ari Hest. No, wait, U isn’t for that. There’s no U in any of that. Uh oh. (Get it? Uh oh?)

V is for video. The video for this tune made Courtney Cox’s career, and was one of the seminal videos of its time. And it’s really just Bruce performing. Bands, take note: We wanna watch you play. All the other crap in your videos is usually lame. Dancing in the Dark-Charlotte Martin

W is for Rosalita Come Out Tonight-Whybirds

X and Y are not for anything. So take this brief pause to tell me how much I suck in the comments. You know you want to. Something in this post is wrong and bad, and you feel the need to tell me about it, don’t you. I thought you did.

And last but not least, Z is for zipfile!