RIP Gerry Rafferty

5 01 2011

Gerry Rafferty died early this week at age 63. Gerry was the frontman of 70’s era rock group Stealers Wheel. Gerry is most famous for his hit “Stuck In The Middle”, a tune that is often confused as a Bob Dylan song and rightfully so as it was written to mimic his lyrical style. The song was released in 1973 on their self-titled album. It instantly became a hit, rising to #6 on the charts and has since been further popularized due to it’s use in the cult-classic Quentin Tarantino film Reservoir Dogs. Here’s a 70-style music video for the song… I love it because its so dated.

Advertisements




Cee-Lo | Fuck You!

1 09 2010

This is some pretty  interesting $h!t… Cee-Lo Green, of Goodie Mob and Gnarls Barkley fame, released his newest single “Fuck You!” on YouTube. This first video is just the song with animated lyrics, but nevertheless received instant attention due obvious reasons: 1. the explicit title/lyrics and 2. the explicit pop-stickiness of the song itself. It’s true. It’s one of tunes that you embarrassingly catch yourself humming or singing, not unlike his Gnarls Barkley hit from 2006, “Crazy”.  So, this whole tactic is a relatively new concept. No doubt it’s inspired by the the current state of the recording industry, the ever-growing use of social media and the fact that this particular piece of work would be hard to release anywhere but the internet. He, rather wisely, is using YouTube (an extension of his social media) to promote his new album Lady Killer. At first, I didn’t think much of it but I got to thinking about how clever a move that is… and like that, I had forgotten about it. All of a sudden as of today, Green releases a more “traditional” MTV-style music video but this time via Facebook. The catch is: you have to “Like” his page. When I heard this I was at the same time both disgusted and impressed. All these little teasers actually seem to be working. People are talking about it and he is engaging fans (albeit a tad forcefully). I am only curious what the next step will be. At this same rate, it should only be another week or so ’til we find out.

Below is the original YouTube video with lyrics. Many will tell you that they can not yet offer the Facebook video as it is exclusive to Cee-Lo’s Facebook Page. Well, no here. I was able to obtain a copy and uploaded it as discreetly as possible so that you do not have to officially become a fan on FB. Before watching, I should tell you that this “Official Music Video” is not all that cool. Actually, it kind of reminds me of Pepsi commercial… and not one of the good ones. Check out, it’s the second video below.

References:

Cee-Lo’s Official Site

Cee-Lo’s Facebook Page

More info on Cee-Lo Green

Read more about “Fuck You!” @ PitchFork.com HERE & HERE





Sneak Peek: Weezer | Hurley

10 08 2010

Have you seen this new album cover for the forthcoming Weezer album, appropriately titled Hurley? It’s a hilarious picture of Lost character, Hurley (actor, Jorge Garcia).

When asked about it by Pitchfork.com, frontman Rivers Cuomo explained the rationale behind this odd choice, “We just wanted to use that picture of Jorge Garcia’s face on the cover. It’s such an amazing album cover, and we didn’t want to have any other words on it, so we just figured everyone was going to call it Hurley, so that’s what we call it.” I can accept that. Given a few of their other albums have just been self-titled and otherwise referred to by their colors (i.e. the green album, the blue album, the red album) this seems like a slight shift in protocol. Hurley comes out on September 14th but they released a single entitled “Memories” early to create a little buzz. Honestly, I like the picture of Jorge more than this song but I’m sure there are fans out there that are excited about it nonetheless. Below is a sneak peek of the new track for those loyal Weezer fans… I know there are still quite a few.

I’m more partial to their old tunes but I suppose they can’t just keep doing that stuff anymore. Anyway, it’s nice to see they still don’t take themselves too seriously. It is actually their sense of humor that I appreciate most about them these days. In fact, I think they might be getting sillier with age. Check out some of their music videos from the last decade+ below and tell me if you agree.

References:

Pitchfork.com Article/Inteview

More info on Weezer

More info on Hurley

Weezer’s Complete Discography





New Avalanches Album… Coming Soon

28 06 2010

According to a recent Pitchfork.com article, The Avalanches are nearly ready to release a new album. This new work would be just their second but is very highly anticipated after nearly 10 years since their initial debut, Since I Left You. For those that are not familiar, The Avalanches are an Australian band, turned DJ troupe, that has become a quiet sensation after their first official full length release. I must say, all the accolades are 100% well deserved as it was truly a masterpiece. Since I Left You is a collection of 18 tracks that were created from some 3,500 samples. It was not originally intended for wide release, which lead them to disregard any concerns about copyright restrictions and therefore paid little attention to keeping track of the samples of music they would later need to clear. Although the band started as a noise-punk outfit, they became interested in the potential of mixing and the “mash-up”. Armed with an extensive vinyl collection from artists, both popular and obscure, from all over the globe, they turned out a fluid, thoughtfully conceived and flawlessly produced album that has not lost it’s luster since the initial release in November of 2000. Essentially, what started as a concept album for a mere side project soon turned into a permanent gig. They spent the last decade touring the world, both playing their material live and performing DJ sets. During that period it has long been rumored that they have been working on a new album based around a similar premise. The rumors have wavered considerably so it’s tough to tell what is what, but many sources close to the band feel that this is finally it… the new album is on it’s way with a release date yet to be announced. I’ve got my fingers crossed that this time, it’s for real. I, for one, can’t wait to see what they do as an encore to their breakthrough coming out.

Below is the official video for the title track, “Since I Left You”. It’s one of two singles from the album. They had a really tough time selecting the singles, not just because many of the tunes are so good but because the entire album flows straight through from one song to the next. It’s like one continuous piece that mimics the seamless feel of a DJ set. But, I actually would liken to something more in the realm of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon because it is cleverly more deliberate than a bunch of cut up dance tracks. You will notice the faded ending, which is not how it appears on the album but, with the help of the cinematic subtext, it works for this format.

Here is the video for the other single and perhaps the most radio friendly of all the tracks because it stands up really well out of the context of the album, it’s “Frontier Psychiatrist”. This one contains a sample from the film Polyester as well as numerous others from artists like Flip Wilson, Enoch Light, Wayne & Shuster and many, many more. One of the toughest things about releasing a project like this is that you have to get the proper approvals to use such samples. It has been said that the new album has been complete for a few  years but is still awaiting clearance. Perhaps it’s just a rumor but it sounds like typical industry red tape, which I believe to be true. They were able to get permission from artists as large as Madonna for the first one, so it’s only a matter of time before they get it all cleared and ready to roll.

The Avalanches have a pretty good website that keeps their fans up to date on the latest developments. You can find news about the new album and other mixing projects or performances. They often have info about what samples they are using so you can check them out in their original state, which is really cool. They also have a forum that has been very helpful to sort through all the release rumors and other BS. Check it out to keep on top of the status of the forthcoming album.

References:

The Avalanches Official Site

The Avalanches on MySpace

More info on The Avalanches

More info on Since I Left You

Track Listing: Since I Left You





Hey MJ, I Want You Back

25 06 2010

Today is the 1 yr anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death. By now everybody knows what happened and it goes without saying that just about every media outlet will be doing something to honor the guy so I will spare you any overly verbose statement of reverence and just give you the goods. I wanted to showcase a few moments from his career. Some of which are monumental, while others are just pieces I really appreciate.

As a big Motown fan, I had to start with the early days of the Jackson 5. There are actually quite a few videos that capture the boys at this period in their career. This one is from Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. Per Dick’s intro, it commemorates their hit “I Want You Back” going platinum in 1970. The video quality is not great but the performance is supercharged. They amp it up just a bit by increasing the tempo… it burns.

This next one is, perhaps, from one of their low moments but I find it to be a really interesting piece that I had never seen before. It’s a medley of two popular covers done as part of a western themed sketch from the Jackson 5’s mid 70’s variety show. The segment shows the boys doing War’s “The Cisco Kid” and Bob Marley’s “I Shot The Sheriff”. It’s not their best work but, like I said, really neat to watch. The theatrical stage antics are way too much for my taste but who knew they had covered War and Marley. That was the one cool thing about this TV show, they used to show off their talents with material beyond their own catalog or that of other Motown artists.

This next one is without a doubt one of the biggest moments in Michael’s career. It’s that famous performance of “Billie Jean” from the Motown 25 show live at NY’s Apollo Theater in Harlem. This is the first time Micheal displayed his trademark moonwalk. The whole performance is phenomenal but once he hits the move, the audience erupts… it gives me goosebumps to watch it decades later.

This is just a song that I happen to like, despite its down tempo beat.  As one of his more mellow tracks, it’s a real standout. It’s “Man In The Mirror”, live from the Moonwalker concert film. The audience footage here really shows how big of a superstar the man really was. He touched millions upon millions of people (pardon the off-color pun).

This is the ever famous “Thriller” video from 1983. This 14 minute John Landis video is usually referred to as the greatest music video of all time and has had a huge impact on pop culture as we know it. As many times as you’ve seen it (I know, countless), it’s always pretty cool. I, like many, absolutely loved it when I was a kid.





MGMT | Congratulations… again

13 04 2010

MGMT’s new album Congratulations came out today. It’s not really a big deal given it was leaked a few weeks ago. But, as part of the fanfare they have released a new video for the single “Flash Delirium” and are rolling out an all new website with some pretty cool features. Buy the album or just check out the new site: www.whoismgmt.com.

Previous GG posts about this “long awaited” album:

*Update: MGMT | Congratulations

Sneak Peek: MGMT | Flash Delirium








%d bloggers like this: