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with the birds i share this lonely view…

24 Feb

I haven’t written a blurb about the Album of the Week in two weeks.  This is because for the last two weeks Sade’s Solider of Love has been posted as the pick.  I wanted to gush and have amazing things to say about Solider of Love, and while it definitely wasn’t a bad album, I found that most things that I had to say about it were negative.  Since I’m a Sade fanatic (I guess not to the point of never finding fault), I decided not to write anything bad about the album. I will say though, Moon and the Sky, Morning Bird, and the album titled track Solider of Love are beautiful songs.

Sade’s newest effort left me a bit somber; to snap out of it I spent some time listening to Beach House’s new album, Team Dream.  The album didn’t quite get me out of my somber state, but the duo created a very mellow but rhythmic, dreamy vibe, that I really loved.  When you get a chance, check out the Baltimore natives, they are listed as last week’s Album of the Week here.

I was listening to my favorite radio station here in NYC, RXP 101.9, and they played Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day. It’s one of my favorite acoustic songs, and it just made me nostalgic for 90’s Alterative bands; great times.  That’s why for this week I decided to go West, and pick one of my all-time favorite bands, Red Hot Chili Peppers, their album Californication, is one of my favorites.  The album holds 5 songs by the L.A. based band that I love, most notably Scar Tissue, as well as Otherside, Californication, Porcelain, and Road Trippin’. If the album had Soul to Squeeze, and even commercially popular Under the Bridge and Give it Away Now, I’d probably lose my mind, but then again it would lose some of the Rock-Rap vibe that is synonymous with RHCP. Take a listen.

Below is the video for Scar Tissue, it’s quite possibly my favorite music video. It completely encapsulates the vibe of the song, and I just want to go out and wander with the sun basking on my face! – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Scar Tissue – Music Video

the art of music-telling…

3 Feb

What would be something good to listen to during my week of insanity? Apparently whatever the answer is, it has to be old-school.  Maybe nostalgia keeps me level-headed, i don’t know… At first I thought Madonna’s Immaculate Collection was going to be the vibe for the week, because I was still motivated by danceable music, like last week’s pick.  But no, after Skew it on the Bar-B came on, on three separate occasions, and laughing at how crazy Raekwon is (what the hell is he talking about on that track?), Outkast’s Aquemini was calling me.

With upbeat songs like the previously mentioned, Skew it on the Bar-B and Rosa Parks and heady tracks, like my absolute favorites The Art of Storytelling and West Savannah, the album takes me on a remarkable evocative ride. The lyrics put me in a good mood, the synthesizers heard throughout the album makes me upbeat & motivated, yet there’s a compelling mellowness that keeps me relaxed and focused.  Aquemini is one of favorite albums of all times, so I can go on and on.  Do you agree?

Take a listen, and see if you do or just reminisce on a great Hip-Hop album.

I want to go from nostalgic to current;  since I went down South this week, I’ll keep it going with New Orleans native, Jay Electronica.  His single Exhibit C, was leaked awhile ago but I just got my ears onto it.  I think it’s a great blend of N.O. meets NYC, plus my new 2nd favorite DJ, Just Blaze (remember I mentioned that in my Style Diary, Week 5) produced it.  Take a listen below.

Jay Electronica – Exhibit C

burning down the house…

28 Jan

Uh oh, someone is posting the Album of the Week late…and that someone is me!

This week’s choice is not quite the norm for me, but not all of my picks are based on love or popularity…but more because I’m actually listening to it. I had this fiendish desire to have a Hip-Hop pick this week, since I’ve had some complaints that I don’t have enough (i guess my Black card is getting revoked).  Nothing really moved me though, and this week more than others, I desperately needed something that would move me figuratively and literally.

If you read Style Diary, Week 4, you’ll know that I’ve been lazy, so much so that I called it the Week of Sloth.  So I did the unthinkable and went with some House music for my choice.  As for as ‘Dance” genre, I like more drum and bass or some sort of electro-pop/rock/ or hip-hop fusion (DJ Shadow almost won, but I wanted something i haven’t heard); House isn’t normally my cup of tea, but I can deal with it in doses.  The right dose is apparently, Strictly Rhythms Volume 2 Mixed by Mr V,  which is a compilation album of popular House singles and remixes. It’s the perfect way not to get lyrics stuck in my head, focus, and get moving.  The album puts me in a rhythmic trace that allows me to not only focus consistently and get some work done, but also has me dancing and working out. So kudos to House music.

The rhythm of the songs have been the impetus to keeping me productive, La Mezcia, Carnival 93 and Get Up are my top choices off the album… I might need to make Get Up my alarm in the mornings! Give them a listen and see if an overwhelming energy doesn’t take over your body!

Since I didn’t find a Hip-Hop pick, I thought it would be appropriate to post this new remix of Drake’s Money to Blow, by A-trak that came out this week…it’s kind of a compromise (not exactly a compromise, original Blow record is weak, and definitely needed a dose of some energy) between what I wanted this week and what I ended up picking. Although this one, doesn’t make me productive…it makes me want to be at the club wasted at 2am jumping up and down…that’ll be this weekend! ha!

Hmmm….I wonder how that 24-hour champagne diet would work out?

A-Trak x Drake x Birdman, “Loonies to Blow”

twelve years later and it still goes on & on

19 Jan

Over the past few weeks I’ve had fairly recently released albums for my weekly selection.  This week I’ve decided to go back to my favorite time of music, ’93-’97, with Erykah Badu’s debut album Baduizm.  It seemed like the choice was calling me, she’s been floating around in my head recently because I’m finalizing DJ Dummy to spin her concert after-party in Dallas during NBA-All Star weekend.  Also I’ve been in a creative rut, since I’ve been back from Florida and needed something mellow, but would tickle my brain. What could do that? What would make go On and On to the Otherside of the Game, make me want to climb an Apple Tree while rockin’ an Afro, and make feel like I’ve traveled to my Next Lifetime, where there are 4 Leaf Clovers and no Drama? Certainly, Ms. Badu…well Sometimes. Her or I got some crazy PCP from the sounds of it. (click any of the Baduizm links to see why I said all that =0) )

Anyway…Baduizm will be my creative remedy for the rest of the week!

oh remember this one? i LOVE this song:

it’s the contra, man…

12 Jan

If you haven’t caught the free album streaming or bought the early release on iTunes yet, today marks the release of Vampire Weekend’s sophomore album, Contra.  Since I like Vampire Weekend and was counting down the days to give the album a listen,  Contra is this week’s featured album.

Sometimes when you listen to a band’s second effort you end up being disappointed because they ventured way onto another spectrum, trying to experiment with their sound.  This isn’t the case with Vampire Weekend; you can tell that there has been growth, but all and all, minus Ezra Koenig’s voice sounding sexier than i remember, they sound the same. As is said, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, and apparently it’s not broken, because they have a slue of already sold out shows coming up!  I will say though, i dearly miss the violin, i didn’t hear my favorite sound on any of the tracks, the violin is one of the reasons i loved them, oh well.

My favorite song on the album is Diplomat’s Son, every time is comes on I start dancing and want to be on summer vacation, grooving with a boy at a beach party at sunset, with a drink in one hand and a doobie in the other!  The way the album started with Horchata threw me off, it didn’t sound like an album-starter, but after that i was quite pleased.  Overall the album was fun and uptempo, with a strong ska-like influence, including an 80-esque vibe.

There wasn’t really a song I disliked, The Clash inspired Taxi Cab didn’t exactly mesh with album, it was a little darker and mellower than the rest of the tracks, but I still really like it.  Plus it went well with I Think Ur a Contra, which was slow and pretty and a perfect way to end the album.

For me, California English, Giving Up the Gun, and as mentioned Diplomat’s Son were tracks that stuck out in my head.

If you want to check out the album you can listen to it on the Vampire Weekend website, just click here. Also, if you haven’t heard the 1st single, Cousins, or seen the video that came out for it in November, you can check it out below; i was raving about this video last year.  Ok, now go listen to the album, particularly Diplomat’s Son so you can get your groove on, it’ll automatically make you feel sexy and want to go on vacation!

long live the french!

4 Jan

This week’s album of the week is French band, Phoenix’s album Wolfgang Amedeus Phoenix. When I saw them nominated for a Grammy, i was like who?  Then I saw them listed on a couple top 2009 album lists, by people whom I respect their musical tastes, so I gave them a listen.

It’s a fun album, I’ve been listening to it non-stop for the last couple of days.  For me most of the album sounds like what an amazing day during the summer feels like, if that makes sense.  Take a listen, it feels good.  I’m glad they got a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album.  Even though sadly getting a Grammy nod this year isn’t saying much, it seem like a pop happy teenager made the picks.  Remember when getting a Grammy was a barometer for greatness? …apparently we have no more music award shows that will set the standard.  I hope Oscar doesn’t jump off the same cliff…

album of the week 12.28.09

30 Dec

I’m not going to write reviews on every album of the week, partly because i’m on vacation, plus that was my job in in 2005.  Mos Def’s The Ecstatic (one of the best albums of the year) is this week’s pick because I was in a ‘real’ hip-hop mood, plus I can not stop sing-humming that part of Auditorium…”badada bada da ba dada, badada bada da ba dada, su su sido bopidy sido bopidy sido bopidy, keep on rockin it…”

Check the album, you’ll rock your head!