Monday, January 31, 2011

Video: The Lonely Island feat. Nicki Minaj - The Creep

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Video: Pole Dance Fail

It's been so long since I've been able to post clip of some poor girl coming a cropper on a pole, and finally my prayers are answered!

After School Pole Dance Crash - Watch more Funny Videos

Saturday, January 29, 2011

  1. Drake - Thank Me Later
Drake’s album dropped under a lot of pressure.  The graduate of Degrassi: The Next Gen came out of nowhere to drop some emo inspired monotone verses on his mixtape So Far Gone and the next thing you know he’s courted by Jay-Z and Lil Wayne.  Weezy won out and Thank Me Later finally dropped on the Young Money label at the top of 2010.

Backed by IDM influenced instrumentals, Drake dropped some emotionally raw verses that owed much to Kanye West’s genre busting breakdown 808’s and Heartbreaks.  Was it R&B, was it Hip Hop?  Was it neither?  It didn’t matter as fans (especially the ladies) drooled over not only his poo-eating grin, but also his luscious tracks with the likes of Alicia Keys (Fireworks) and Swizz Beatz (Fancy).

Karaoke and Resistance asked if the lure of fame was really worth it, but it was when Drake  got all loverman with The-Dream on Shut it Down that we really knew he had the R&B game on lock.  Fear of making it big was a recurring theme on the album, leaving Drake feeling nostalgic for the regular life he only recently departed.  Which makes you wonder where he goes from here?  He may succumb to the lazy trappings of the R&B grind, but for now he’s in a league of his own.

Download So Far Gone Mixtape HERE

  1. Lupe Fiasco - Enemy of the State
Listen to the music below.  It speaks for itself.

  1. Caribou - Swim
It takes some sort of mathematician to construct the kind of giddy algorithms that frame Daniel ‘Caribou’ Snaith’s songs.  Lucky then that he is the son of university maths professor.  However, if you’re thinking that his music is some sort of nerdy classical monstrosity only enjoyed by those with Mensa credentials, your couldn’t be more wrong.

Trading in what was once known as IDM (Intelligence Dance Music), it’s easier just to call it dance music.  Although not as accessible as his earlier releases (which alternately sounded like electronic folk music and shoegaze), Swim is just as rewarding, and on repeat listens, even more so.  The intricacies reveal themselves slowly, and what at first seems oddly placed becomes key.

Wild saxaphone solo’s, bleeding synth’s, nimbly picked guitar and clattering drums are all part of the purpose built sound.  The vocals come and go, eerily pitching themselves above the music, detached in a way that evokes the loneliness of a break-up, a divorce or of just being plain by yourself.  The organic, pulsing beats below make the loneliness feel like a warm sweater on a cold day, making the juxtaposition of the two opposing poles seem like a match made in heaven.

  1. A-Trak - Dirty South Dance 2
I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, but if I did, then this would probably be it for twenty ten.  Since winning the DMC world DJ championships at the age of 15 and every DJing award imaginable, A-Trak has carved out an enviable career.  Working with Kanye West, starting his own label (Fool’s Gold) and then crafting the addictive Barbara Streisand with Armand Van Helden (as Duck Sauce), it seems there is little left for him to accomplish.

Luckily for us A-Trak found the inspiration (and time) to put together the second installment in his Dirty South Dance series.  The concept is simple - Dirty South acapella’s grafted on to some of the silkiest beats of the year.  

It works for a number of reasons.  Firstly, the sing-song flow of southern rap heavyweights like Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy and Gucci Mane is a perfect match for the melodic dance instrumentals.  Secondly, A-Trak hasn’t just sampled a bunch of house hits for his backing tracks.  He’s has a ear for tunes, and his selections seem well researched.  When you add in his talents behind the technic turntables, you have an irresistible concoction.  There’s no point in me breaking down the nuance’s of each song for you.  You’re better off just listening to the damn thing yourself, because sometimes when something just feels right, you just do it.


  1. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Upon hearing the name The Suburbs I mistakenly thought the Arcade Fire were doing away with colossal statements.  Surely they couldn’t muster the same intensity and wealth of idea’s that fuelled their two previous opus’s Funeral and Neon Bible.  Yet here we are.

The albums opens with The Suburbs, and if feels like we’ve just dropped in ‘Marty McFly’ style into a suburban backyard, recalling sunny summers, bbq’s and the dad’s old Holden cruising the block.  It’s a great ruse, lulling us into a lo-fi daze before ripping us back into reality with the charged Ready to Start, where lead singer Win Butler wistfully recalls the glory days before he apparently sold out.  

Where Funeral saw the kids digging tunnels to escape the Suburban malaise, The Suburbs seems to be drawing inspiration from those that were left behind, doomed to forever pick up the sunday paper off the front lawn and tend to the garden.

The Bruce Springsteen influence comes up a lot when talking about the Arcade Fire, and again on this record the comparison is apt.  Month of May is as ragged and unpolished as the best Boss barn-burners, but there’s more to this album than E-Street riffs.  Album closer The Sprawl II feels like MGMT covering The Knife and signals yet another glorious departure for the band, just another highlight in an already classic career and a perfect ending to a near perfect album.

  1. Honourable mention: Guido - Anidea, Gorillaz - Plastic Beach, Chemical Brothers - Further, The Roots - How I got Over, Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part 2, Gonjasufi - A Sufi and a Killer, Flying Lotus  - Cosmogramma

Friday, January 28, 2011

Review: Michael Jackson's This is It


Editors Note: I finally got round to seeing it.  I had been hesitant to watch it because of the way the film came about, and because I didn't feel good about seeing an unfinished product from a man who built his reputation on perfection.  However, as I'm nowhere near as ethically or morally superior as I thought I was, I bought the blu-ray and ended up being quite excited to watch it when I finally got around to.  Enjoy.

I realized then what was happening.  Michael Jackson was leading his dancers, out-front and centre stage.  The dancers were dancing powerfully, in-time and with the fluidity that a choreographed Jackson routine requires.  Michael, although fluid as he always was, was not as powerful.  He looked mortal here, and yet you couldn't take your eyes off him.  Was he saving himself, knowing that this was a rehearsal and he was the last person that needed to learn the routine?  Or was he simply walking it through, knowing as he did that he would be watching this footage back to see that it all fit his vision?  Or was this the best the 50 year old, obviously ailing king of pop could do? 

That one moment encapsulates the conundrum of This is it.  The movie at once reveals all about the backstage preparation and the zealous, grueling on-stage rehearsal, whilst at the same time reminding us at every turn that this huge event (and it was mammoth) fell on the shoulders of a frail king.

Pardon the pun, but it is a thrilling movie.  The sheer size of the production (of the concert) was possibly the largest I've seen, and I certainly can't think of any stage show that has been put together this meticulously.  The highlights are many and varied.  Jackson joking around with his musicians, his encouragement to them during the performances and then the constant recalibration of his performances.  It is all mesmerizing, and yet unnerving.

The music, as you'd expect, is as vital and energetic as the day it was first put to vinyl, and performed with precision by Jackson's crack band of session musicians.  The hits keep coming, and Jackson, ever the entertainer, knows the value of reinterpretation, switching up the standards to keep them fresh.

It would have been a punishing performance, and the struggle is unfortunately evident throughout.  It is sad to imagine what the concert could have been and even sadder to see Jackson as he was, and it's this dichotomy that kept me enthralled.  I felt like a new fan and a voyeur. 

Yet, for all the obvious aspersions that Jackson's death cast upon this movie, it is still a document of the worlds greatest entertainer putting it all on the line for one last great show.  It is this aspect that elevates this film from morbid voyeurism to performance piece, and it's the same reason that you'll thoroughly enjoy it.


Video: Nicki Minaj feat. Drake - Moment 4 Life (official video)

Here's the video for the latest Nicki Minaj single 'Moment 4 Life' featuring Toronto rapper Drake.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Download: Ke$ha, Tinie Tempah and more

Fred Falke is a club legend, Ke$ha is an overrated popstar.  Hardly the combination to inspire dancefloor genius, and yet here we are.  I like this track because it doesn't try too hard.  It takes the best of the original (of which there's not much) and filters it through french disko.  Candy!

Tinie Tempah is USA conquering grime artist who seems more comfortable reaching for lamestream success than any of his grime contemporaries (or maybe he was just better at it?).  He gets the remix treatment from up-and-coming superstar DJ Afrojack.

Cut Copy are an aussie dance rock band who have a new album on the way, and this swinging little ditty is the opening track.  It's sweeping, but not so grandiose that it's overwhelming.  The album should be epic.

Ke$ha - We R who we R (Fred Falke Club Mix)

Tinie Tempah - Pass Out (Afrojack Remix)

Cut Copy - Need you know

Video: Robyn/Douster/Savage Skulls - Bad Gal

In been a minute since we've heard from Robyn.  Here she teams up with Mad Decent affiliates Savage Skulls and Douster for another banger.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Download: Timbaland - Round the way Tim


As you know, we posted a song last week which was Timbo and Missy's 'Take Ur Clothes Off', the first track to feature in 'Timbaland Thursdays' (which is pretty much the premise behind Kanye's GOOD Fridays and Swizz's Monster Mondays).

His second Thursday track is up and it's an ode to himself, or at least his lifestyle, which as you could probably guess, is pretty awesome.  

Download the song HERE

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Download: Chris Brown - Beautiful People (Produced by Benny Benassi)


Chris Breezy has been pumping out nearly as many free tunes as Kanye in the last few months, trying to build up anticipation for his new disc F.A.M.E., which I hope is concept album about the TV show from the 80's (fingers crossed).

Benny Benassi (Satisfaction) produces here, and the track sounds like any number of trance/house tracks from the last couple years, but with the added twist of Brown singing over the top.  It should go down well in the US as they're finally start to accept dance music (although they have to call it R&B to make themselves feel better about that fact), and I have to admit is good to see CB looking outside the American production community for his beats.

Download track HERE

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Download: Kid Sister - Kiss Kiss Mixtape


Kid Sister had the internet goin nuts in 2007 after the release of Pro Nails, a snappy little tune that got some exposure thanks to cute video clip and a Kanye West remix.  Unfortunately, her debut album was delayed several times, and by the time the disc and its accompanying single 'Right Hand Hi' dropped, the buzz had dissipated and so had Kid Sisters chance at chart success.

Not to be deterred, the Kid is back.  She's always had a phone full of contacts and she puts them on full display here.  The music leans toward Euro Dance and Chicago's own juke, but really, there's something for everyone here.  Out now from Fools Gold Records.

Grab the full mixtape for FREE HERE

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Download: MISSY ELLIOTT & TIMBALAND - Take Ur Clothes Off


Timbaland has taken a leaf out of Swizz Beatz and Kanye's book, and dedicated a day of the week to release new music.  He's picked Thursday, because it rhymes with his name.  He starts us off with a high-profile collab with Missy, which has been a long wait for fans.

Download it here>>Take Ur Clothes Off Right Click

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Video: Ryan Leslie - Beautiful Lie (New song debuted in Paris)

R Les is the king of the behind-the-scenes clips.  This one seems a little more professional than his usual fare, with Leslie dropping some actual raps over a pretty retro but still damn tight beat.  Check it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Book Review: Jay-Z - Decoded

Jay-Z is a lot of things - Rapper, Businessman and he's got the hottest chick in the game wearin' his chain.  If you take him at his word, and it's hard not to, he's also a hustler and an artist, and that's the point that this book sets out to prove.  He does so by using his own lyrics, which may surprise some who believe that rappers are a bunch of hypocrits who can't decide which side of the fence they sit on.

Decoded proves this to be a fallacy, but it also goes deeper.  Jays lyrics come from a real place.  Whether he's describing the hustler life or talking about his family, the words are like a diary to Jay, and he succinctly and enthusiastically breaks down each verse and relates the stories and events that inspired the ideas.

When he's not getting reminiscing on his own past or commenting on world events, Jay uses his own experiences to give us a history lesson in the art of rhyming.  It's refreshing to hear an artist such as Jay speaking at length and with so much clarity about MC'ing, in fact I can't recall a time that it's been done before this.

Those looking for some anecdotes about Chris Martin or Bono will get a few juicy morsels to chew on, but Jays recollections about his celebrity friends are mostly used here to illustrate bigger points, such as when he explains to Bono the art of beefing, a competition which is uniquely Hip-Hop and affects career in a way that isn't scene in the rock world.

If you're picking this up expecting to find out what cereal Beyonce eats for breakfast, you're going to disappointed.  This is strictly beats, rhymes and life from one of (if not the best) lyricist in the game.  There's a lot to be learned here, especially for fans of Hip-Hop, but I dare say even the most casual reader will get caught up in the tale of a street hustler made good.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Video: Girl Face-Plants during audition for Paula Abduls new show

 So, Paula Abdul has this new show called 'Live to Dance', and it's so totally not like SYTYCD.  For starters, they have an audition process, which is a totally new and original that only a dance genius like Paula could think up.  Anyway, at one of these auditions, a bright young spark (possibly a relation of Abduls?) face-planted during her performance and ended up with an egg on her head. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Video: Hercules and Love Affair - My House

have never shied away from their influences.  Their assured 2007 self-titled debut showcased a sound that built a bridge between late 70's and Chicago House and then layered it with some of the most beautiful vocalists out there.

My House is the first single from their new album and it sees the Love Affair looking more to the future, if today was 1985 and the future meant the following year (and we all lived in Chicago).  With it's literal ad-libs (C'mon!), diva vocals and analog sound, it could nestle quite nicely on an early Farley Jackmaster Funk mix.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Video: Chris Brown and John Wall dance-off @ New Years

Chris Brown and Washington Wizards Rookie John Wall danced off to the 'Dougie' on New Years.  No offense to Wall, but he would've copped a beatdown from Brown on the dancefloor. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Stream: FactMag Mix 182 - Four Tet

 FactMag have delivered some excellent mixes this year, and they named this one their second best of the year.  If there's enough interest I'll throw a few more up from some different artists.

A large part of Four Tet’s musicianship in recent years has revolved around his residency at Plastic People, the much-loved East London club that earlier this year faced closure. Well, seeing as it’s now re-opened, Hebden will be restarting his residency this Saturday, September 11, and this mix is done to celebrate it. Ramadanman, Villalobos, Oni Ahyun and more feature, along with Four Tet’s own mixes of Rocketnumbernine and Bob Holroyd, and an original new Four Tet track for Soul Jazz’s Future Bass compilation.