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Friday, Mar 6, 2009
Rick Ross steps up the bougie-rap image to a new level.

Rick Ross has just stepped up the bougie-rap image to a new level.  In the video, Ross is a thoroughbred race-horse owner, dressed in an all-white suit and is sporting big, clear-framed ‘80s-style prescription glasses.  Usually with Ross, there’s some sort of thuggishness thrown in with the upper-class dress code, but in this video he does away with everything street, coming off like some sort of rich New England, nu-bourgeoisie, country club member.  I don’t think horse-racing has ever been approached with such sincerity in any music video.  The song is a nice and smooth, rap slow-jam with Ross’s signature smug, power-brags in full effect.  When he says “My money long / My money strong / If you ain’t getting money that mean you doin’ something wrong,” you’ll question your life choices, maybe.



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Thursday, Mar 5, 2009

Although sales never came up to par compared to 2003’s Beatitude, the 2007 full-length from Finnish crazies Pepe Deluxé was by far their greatest achievement to date. Critics gave it an Emma (the Fin Grammy), but a lack of US distribution meant few outside of Europe knew it existed, which is a shame because the beating heart of the record was largely influenced by the American psychedelic movement of the late ‘60s. These three videos will tell you their story.


Pepe Deluxé - “Mischief Of Cloud 6”


Pepe Deluxé - “Go For Blue”


Pepe Deluxé - “Pussycat Rock”


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Thursday, Mar 5, 2009
Wale's new mixtape looks to up the level of production with 9th Wonder behind the boards. "Nightlife" gives a preview of what might be possible.

Since his 2007 mixtape 100 Miles and Running, which included the great “W.A.L.E.D.A.N.C.E.” remix of Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.”, it seems like every indie website pretending to like rap has been bouncing his material. The difference here, however, is that Wale is actually good. 


After a slew of great material headlined by 2008’s Seinfeld tribute The Mixtape About Nothing, everyone started taking notice to this fresh star, and Interscope signed him. They plan to release his debut studio album this year. Already, Wale himself has announced production from the likes of Mark Ronson, Kanye West, Justice, and more. 


2009 also marks his next mixtape, Back to the Feature, produced by 9th Wonder. On Wale’s website, he posted a track from the new mixtape entitled “Nightlife”, which features Tre and Young Chris.


Immediately, the production sounds cleaner than any of Wale’s previous material, and if this is any indication, his new album could explode as soon as its released.


Wale
“Nightlife (Dirty Version)” [MP3]
“Nightlife (Clean Version)” [MP3]


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Thursday, Mar 5, 2009

Some bands hit you over the head like a sledgehammer, while others, gently stroke you with a velvet glove. Thee Oh Sees hit you over the head with a sledgehammer while wearing a velvet glove. I recently saw San Francisco’s Thee Oh Sees perform as part of Noise Pop—the annual indie music festival, now in its 17th year—and still can’t remove the smile the band carved into my face.


The band led by John Dwyer (the Coachwips, Pink and Brown, the Hospitals) have a sound soaked in reverb and revved up like a muscle car on death ride. They conjure Halloween at the end of February and could re-animate a zombie crowd into shimmying teenagers.


Guitarist Dwyer and singer Brigid Dawson alternate between call and response and dual harmony, conjuring the Cramps and the B52s. This is garage-psychobilly done with vim and vigor. The songs are a bit one-dimensional but it’s a great dimension to inhabit. The rhythm section, comprised of Mike Shoun on drums and Petey Dammit also playing guitar, complete Thee Oh Sees nightmare vision.


Their most recent release, last year’s The Master’s Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In, is a delight and is the perfect accompaniment for a midnight drive down a deserted road. It might even turn even a casual listener into a drifting killer. I can’t get set and album opener, “Block of Ice”, out of my mind and “Adult Acid” has the swagger of Johnny Cash on LSD. This a band to line up for if they decide to go on a killing spree in your hometown.


Thee Oh Sees will be off to South by Southwest and have new record entitled Help in limited edition vinyl only out now, with a full release soon. 



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Thursday, Mar 5, 2009
Psych folk super-duo’s eerie drones

In Babylonian mythology, Anahita is the goddess of water, fertility, healing and wisdom…a powerful symbol of the female life force. In musical terms, Anahita is a new collaboration between Espers cellist Helena Espvall and Fursaxa’s Tara Burke, a fragile, unearthly combination of female life forces that takes shape in floating vocals, plinking strings and Middle Eastern tonalities. The duo’s first record together, recorded primarily on four track and at home, roams an alternate universe, full of haunting harmonies and fleeting glimpses of infinity. The disc, called Matricaria,  is out on Important Records now.


Anahita
“Pirin Planina” [MP3]
     


“Chalice of Cypress” [MP3]
     


“Velvet Shoon” [MP3]
     



Tagged as: anahita
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