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Chapel Club – Telluride

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A touch different sound here on this new track from Chapel Club. “Telluride” sounds a bit like it was recorded in that place. The song has space, it feels icy, a bit more isolated, less tensive, but still pop comfortable. “Telluride” was tracked during the sessions for the band’s upcoming debut. Will this be more what the record will sound like? Less “All the Eastern Girls” and “Pictures of You”? Stay tuned.

Chapel Club – Telluride
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Rating: 8.0

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reviewed by
11-22-10

Summer Fiction – Throw Your Arms Around Me / To: Alone / Chandeliers

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Summer Fiction is both everything and nothing you’ve heard before. We wish more music fell into our inboxes like this. It’s Baroque Pop, it’s torch songs, it’s freewheelin’ Folk, it’s reminiscent of the golden days… but most of all it’s the roots and sound that’s Rock and Roll. It’s why Rock and Roll will never die.

Every now and then we are graced with a songwriter that can make even the simplest sounds heard before, still well worth hearing. With all of today’s media bombardment, I hear these songs and I listen. All I want to do is sit and listen. Bill Ricchini is one of those songwriters, and “Throw Your Arms Around Me” is one of those songs. Take a listen to “To: Alone”, when was the last time you heard a pop song this slow… this good? It’s a sound that reminisces where Richard Swift could have gone and what Elliot Smith had in his bones.

The Summer Fiction LP drops November 30th. True songwriters always have something good to say.

Info on Summer Fiction

Summer Fiction – Throw Your Arms Around Me

Summer Fiction – To: Alone

Summer Fiction – Chandeliers [FREE DOWNLOAD]

Rating: 9.0
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reviewed by
11-21-10

THROWBACK SATURDAYS: Oasis – Heroes (David Bowie Cover)

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The Chief and the boys pay homage to the David Bowie and Brian Eno penned classic. Circa ’97, “Heroes” is a b-side to the Be Here Now 7:22 long debut single “D’You Know What I Mean”. A song, by the way, which should win an award as one of the greatest debut singles, to a post global phenomenon album, of all time.

Really, how ballsy is “D’You Know What I Mean”? Other than the fact it’s basically “Wonderwall” a half step down, just listen to it let alone the entire Be Here Now LP. It’s coked out, it’s Liam Gallagher hurling in between vocal takes, it’s infinite layers of consonant genius.. it’s getting kicked out of Abbey Road Studio’s ballsy. Be Here Now radiates the sort of ambitious irony that only a band that believes they are the greatest band in the world can create. And for that reason it is genuine, and for that reason it is great. Noel claims to hate Be Here Now par a few tunes. Liam… us… and select Oasis fans around the world rather claim it’s one of the best Rock and Roll albums of all time. Either way look at it, it’s “Coming in a mess, going out in style”.

“Heroes” finds a nice home as part of the Oasis B-side legacy. Part of an infamous B-side collection that would be a worthy A-list collection to a majority of artists. Example, dude’s performed their ’95 b-side “Acquiesce” on Saturday Night Live in 1998. How good was it? Good enough for Saturday Night Live to include it on their SNL Celebrates 25 Years of Music 2 CD collection. And they’ve got LOTS of music to chose from. Get it here!

Oasis – Heroes (David Bowie Cover)

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reviewed by
11-20-10

DJ Topcat – The Same Old Fuck You (Cee-Lo Green vs. The Four Tops)

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The mashup journeyman DJ Topcat crafts a smooth blend here with this Cee-Lo Green/Four Tops Mix. What’s crazy about “Fuck You”, and maybe it’s a testament to just how fucking good a song it is… like we’ve heard it everywhere, just about everyday and mixed up every which way and the song still sounds really really great. Like we can’t help but go falsetto on that “I pity the FOOOOOOOOOOL” line every time we hear it. See if you can stop yourself from humming along to Stubbs and Co. and The Ladykiller himself. Yep, like we thought, we can hear you! It’s OK, we’re humming along too.

Cee-Lo Green vs. The Four Tops – The Same Old Fuck You
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Rating: 8.0
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reviewed by
11-19-10

N.E.R.D. – Hypnotize U (Nero Remix) (Prod. Daft Punk)

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Here goes the Nero re-touch of the Daft Punk produced N.E.R.D. jam. Another strong showing here from UK producer Nero; this sick mix comes on the heels of some killer remix work for Plan B, Chase & Status, and The Streets. Nero does well enough to flip the oft-played jam into something fresh. Get familiar below.

N.E.R.D. – Hypnotize U (Nero Remix) (Prod. Daft Punk)
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Rating: 8.0
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reviewed by
11-19-10

B.o.B. – Beast Mode

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Bobby Ray is back at you with “Beast Mode”. “I guess 2010’s the first year you gave a shit.” Maybe. But B. o. B., with 3 top 10 singles and a number 1 album to his credit, can make legit claim to his beast modey-ness. Dude has had a massive year and, and if anything, “Beast Mode” serves as something of a valediction to his 2010.

B. o. B. – Beast Mode
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Rating: 8.2
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reviewed by
11-19-10

Deadmau5 – Faxing Berlin (Grifta Remix)

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A favorite remix of a favorite song by a favorite artist. Grifta’s rework of the seminal Deadmau5 tune is five and a half minutes of expansiveness, hope, wonder, beauty, the future on tape. What that sounds like.

Deadmau5 – Faxing Berlin (Grifta Remix)
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Rating: 8.6
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reviewed by
11-18-10

Saigon – Strength (Prod. Just Blaze)

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Top shelf beat here from the Megatron Don; The seemingly perpetually addled with label problems Saigon pitching in with some choice rhymes. The feel Just Blaze has for the rhythm, cadence, & diction in the flows of the rappers he works with (particularly Saigon) really sets his production work apart.

Saigon – Strength (Prod. Just Blaze)
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Rating: 8.2

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reviewed by
11-18-10

Robyn – When Doves Cry

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The Swedish bodytalker paused her worldbeating tour of nonstop jams just long enough to cut this cover of the classic Prince track for the UK’s Channel 4 TV.

Robyn – When Doves Cry
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Rating: 8.1
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reviewed by
11-18-10

Cage the Elephant – Shake Me Down

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A big step up here from the Kentucky-based band. “Shake Me Down” is the sound of a band at a defining point of creative realization. The band’s second LP Thank You, Happy Birthday is due Jan. 11.

Cage the Elephant – Shake Me Down

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Rating: 8.5

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reviewed by
11-18-10

James Vincent McMorrow – Sparrow and The Wolf

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Photo by Carrie Day

We’ve been fans of singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow for a minute now. His penchant for soulful melody and tuneful lyricism makes him one to keep eyes peeled to in 2011. Already a success in his native Ireland (#1 album, sold-out national tour), McMorrow is set to release his debut LP Early in the Morning in the States in January. We can’t wait. Check out some of these quotes about his development as an artist and writer. (Man, would we love to just hang out and talk music with this guy.)

“I started listening to older music from the 50’s-70’s, and learning guitar, piano. Then I heard a Donny Hathaway song called ‘I Love You More Than You Will Ever Know’ and it made me want to start singing.“ (YES!) “I’ve been a huge fan of female singers, probably because of the way I sing. I can understand the way they construct melody almost better than I can the way male singers write.” (YES!) “That’s how I started learning how to record myself,” remembers James, “by listening to people like The Neptunes and Timbaland, and trying to figure out how they did what they did.” (YES!)

James Vincent McMorrow – Sparrow and The Wolf

info / buy it

rating: 8.3
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reviewed by
11-17-10

DJ Shadow, Live @ House of Blues, Boston 11/14/10

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DJ Shadow came to Boston for inspiration and for feedback. The massively influential turntabilist is in process of crafting a new record. “It’s been a long time, Boston… How long has it been since I played a solo show here?”

The reaction to Shadow’s hyphy-influenced 2006 LP The Outsider (we loved it btw) was divisive, even among his core fanbase. Leading the DJ to question, “Repeat Endtroducing over and over again? That was never, ever in the game plan. Fuck that. So I think it’s time for certain fans to decide if they are fans of the album, or the artist.” At the show, Shadow stated he wanted to get the “temperature of the fans”. And as such is likely the nature of the Shadowsphere tour to engage with, connect to, and re-inspire not only his fans but the artist himself with them. And the fans came out.

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“Shadowsphere awaiting host.” A diverse mass of 1000 plus; from hip hop heads to dreadlocked dudes; middle aged and beyond husbands and wives to gangly college and high school kids feverishly awaited their host’s impending arrival. The kids were loud, chants of “Shadow, Shadow, Shadow, Shadow” greeted the DJ as he entered stage, greeted the crowd, and took to inside the Shadowsphere.

The Shadowsphere, a spherical canvas ball of maybe 15-20 feet in diameter stood starkly onstage against a wider film screen-like background. With the first few notes of “Building Steam with a Grain of Salt.” The sphere and screen lit up, exploding visually into a collage of imagery. Images of stars, planets & the depths of space grew into time lapse footage of plants and flowers and into more grating, disturbing images of hate and warfare. The shadowsphere itself was often used a 3-D imaged object against the screen background. The shadowsphere transformed into an eyeball within the eye socket of a human face and into a baseball hurling through Yankee Stadium. “A lot of people say DJ’ing as an art form is dead or its in decline. …..(I think its) only progressing, moving forward. ….Much through shows like this ….and visuals like this…..”, spoke Shadow a varying points throughout the set.

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The bass shaked and rumbled, moved first from your core, jarring you, then spreading, pulsing through limbs and into your appendages, rattling you. Shadow’s use of his own canon of material as means to showcase his fluency with more contemporarily informed beats was really really cool. Using elements of drum and bass and other more European rhythmic forms, familiar jams like “Six Days” and “Organ Donor” were transformed. Breathing that currency of action and motivation, revelation that what is new can inspire, the emotional relationship the fan has with those songs and their familiarity, that convergence made for a truly moving listening experience.

“I’ll definitely be back. See you next year.” said Shadow at the close of his main set. Awesome. We’ll definitely be back too.

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DJ Shadow – Six Days (Remix) (Feat. Mos Def)

DJ Shadow – This Time (I’m Gonna Try It My Way)

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reviewed by
11-17-10