Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ragga Ragga Ragga Review

I did a review for the Ragga Ragga Ragga 2012 comp this week for RapReviews. I pounded it out Monday night after work, and I just read it and realized I left big chunks out. This is what happens when you don't leave time to edit. I didn't tie together what 420 had to do with the Haight Ashbury had to do with the compilation, other than the amazing pot song "Da Herb Deh."

I'm working on a review of the new Death Grips album, which is great.

"I've Seen Footage" sounds a little like "Push It."

"Get Got" is a much more subdued than any of their other stuff, and the video was shot in SF.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Busy Signal and Giano

I reviewed two albums for RapReviews last week. First up was Busy Signal's Reggae Music Again. This was a return to classic reggae which I enjoyed.

The second was Giano's B Sides and Remixes Volume 2, a new collection of songs from a rapper who straddles the conscious/Christian genres.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I went to two shows last weekend. On Friday I went to see Andrew Bird at the Fox Theater. Unbeknownst to me, our seats were at the last possible row in the entire theater. The sound was great, but we were so far away it was as if we were watching it on TV rather than actually being at the show. Andrew Bird is always excellent live. He came out by himself and did an instrumental number looping his violin so that it sounded like a full(er) band. Then his actual band came on stage: a bassist, a guitarist, and a drummer who also played keyboards. The drummer would also loop himself so that he could play the keyboard parts. I'm not a massive Andrew Bird fan (that would be the wife) and I was dog tired, but it was a good show in a packed theater. Good on him.

Sunday I went to see La Sera and Yuck. I don't know much about Yuck other than they sound like Dinosaur Jr., but I was excited to see a retro alterna rock show. La Sera is the solo project of Vivian Girls bassist Katy Goodman. The band was her on bass, a drummer, and two guitarists. One of them was wearing a flannel and baseball hat and the other looked like Johnny Ramone. Goodman has a great voice, but it was a little too weak to carry through the songs live. The crowd kept yelling "More vocals!!" I really like their latest album Sees The Light, and they were fun live. The best songs were the punchier ones like "Break My Heart," a perfect two-minute pop punk jaunt. They played for thirty minutes to a mostly receptive audience.

Yuck came on around 9:45, which I appreciated given that it was a Sunday. They are also a five-piece, also with a woman on bass. They are young, all between 21-22, but play melodic 90s indie rock much like Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. The crowd were all about 15-20 years older than the band, people who came of age in the late 80s and 90s and were nostalgic for that sound. They were great, playing for a little less than an hour. There is something about that roar of guitar squall that sounds so good live.

Sunday, April 08, 2012


I've been listening to Ceremony's new album Zoo. They are a Bay Area hardcore band who have gone in a more rock direction on their new LP. It sounds like an American hardcore band trying to be Wire.
One of my favorite songs is "Citizen," a two-minute blast of melodic punk that has elements of early 80s hardcore.

They did a video for "Adult," which I'm not crazy about. I feel the whole "the happy suburban 50s family was a sham, man," thing has been done to death.

They've put out a few albums, and their early stuff was much more power violence-ey. It's kind of fun, but a little of this goes a long way.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Quakers and E-Train Reviews

I reviewed two producer compilation albums this week on RapReviews. The first is E-Train's On Solid Ground. It's 18 tracks of solid indie hip-hop by a beatmaker with one foot in the present and one foot in old school boom-bap.

I also reviewed the new album by Quakers, which is a production team made up of Geoff Barrow from Portishead and some of his Portishead colleagues. It is really, really good.

Here's E-Train and D Mottola:

And the Quakers:

Monday, April 02, 2012

Shtar and Burial

I had two reviews up last week on RapReviews.

I did a review of the new Burial EP, Kindred. Mostly because I really love that song. The other two songs on the EP are also good, but "Kindred" gets me every time.

I also reviewed an Israeli hip-hop band called Shtar.

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