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Friday, May 5, 2006
by PopMatters Staff


The Dr. Octagon Chronicles


Mike Relm
20-minute Return of Dr Octagon megamix [MP3]


AS YOU MAY RECALL
... Ten years since Dr. Octagon’s groundbreaking first address to the world, “Dr. Octagonecologyst”, a musical recording with a combination of lyrical alchemy and beat science powerful enough to teleport the first human listeners to rap in the year 3000.

... Seven years since Dr. Dooom murdered Dr. Octagon on the opening track to Dooom’s “First Come First Served”... Dr. Octagon’s office in the Bronx was boarded up, the nurses obliged to seek alternate means of employment. Thousands of patients in need of rectal rebuilding or removing turtles from their uteruses had to fulfill their medical needs elsewhere. The toll-free hotline 1-800-PP5-1-DOODOO and his space age cell 709 755 6EL3 were both disconnected.

BACK IN THE PRESENT
The Pop epidemic proliferates, poisoning millions. Evil forces at work, those who “water down the sound that comes from the ghetto”, continue plugging this poison directly into Earth society’s mainstream, in greater and greater doses. The casualties mount, while The National Guard United States Enterprise is helpless. The rap game, overcrowded with so-called rap super-villains, now more than ever before, could use a rap superhero.

ELSEWHERE ON PLANET EARTH…
The team at OCD International arrived for work to find a small indiscriminate package has arrived mysteriously at their doorstep. Unlabeled. How curious. Opening the box, its sole content is discovered – what seems to be a nano-size mp3 player, in purple-green casing adorned with shimmering blue flowers. An inscription, laser etched on the back reads, “Attention: Earth People. From the Labs of Dr. Octagon, Planet Jupiter”.

Could it be? THE RETURN OF DR OCTAGON!? Is this really the one & only Dr. Octagon? The folks at OCD had to get to the bottom of this. The tracks were immediately ripped off the mp3 player and then shipped for intense forensic voice identification. IT IS HIM!

But what is he saying? What is the message and why is it left with OCD? To get to the bottom of the mystery as crack team of musical experts were assembled to analyze the content of some key track and decipher the code.

First on the case was DJ Mike Relm, inventor of the Zodyak Scop System, esteemed architect of the future sound of hip hop. Mike has seen a lot of strange things in his time; it is no secret that he was once a Turntable Terrorist trafficking in supernatural sonics. He plugged into his ProTools, only to find himself possessed… By some superior force.

After an indefinite period of time, he awoke with a start, in his studio in San Francisco. He vaguely recalls visions of a 12th century turret in the old quarter of Prague, and a vile, evil creature only describable as halfsharkalligatorhalfman. Not to mention, Mike’s throbbing head. Confused and disoriented, he glanced over to his computer screen. A long, dense 20-minute waveform is displayed; the name of the file reads “Octagynaemix”. Could it be Mike’s mix unfolded during a freak forced coma brought on from post-future hypnotic soundwave embedded in the files. Or did Mike just have some bad fish.

Only he truly knows…

Mike Relm 20-minute Return of Dr Octagon megamix


Log on next Friday for the next installment of this amazing 8-week story featuring new interpretations of Dr Octagon tracks each week by Prefuse 73, Kid Loco, Her Space Holiday, Rob Sonic, Skinny Man and more.


The Return of Dr Octagon hits stores June 27th. [MySpace]


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Thursday, May 4, 2006
by PopMatters Staff


Ani DiFranco—"Two Little Girls"
From Carnegie Hall 4.6.02 on Righteous Babe
Ani DiFranco’s live shows are legendary, whether performing with a six-piece band or standing alone with her guitar, but some shows stand out from the rest. Ani’s historic 2002 solo performance at Carnegie Hall is one of those. The ecstatic vibrancy of that evening is captured on Righteous Babe Records’ latest release, Carnegie Hall 4.6.02



The Essex Green—"Don’t Know Why (You Stay)"
From Cannibal Sea on Merge Records
The Essex Green blend the old with the new, incorporating the country rock mood of The Byrds, the Greenwich Village balladry of Fred Neil and the acoustic pop harmonizing of the Mamas and The Papas. Add a little of the pure pop perfection of The Monkees to traces of contemporary artists such as The Shins, The Hidden Cameras and Jens Lekman and you have The Essex Green’s recipe for timeless pop that is classic without being retro.



The Church —"Unified Field"
From Uninvited, Like the Clouds on Cooking Vinyl
Art-rock band The Church make music as they desire, without regard for current trend, trusting in the traditional virtues of talent, chemistry and good taste to guide them, an approach that has served them well for over 20 years.  The band has remained one of the world’s most innovative and enigmatic groups justifying praises from the press including “Best guitar band on earth”, “Sonic perfection”, “Sounds that caress the senses.”



Lambchop —"The Distance From Her to There"
From The Decline of Country & Western Civilization Part II: The Woodwind Years on Merge Records
Lambchop make music that defies easy categorization. They make uniquely American music, fluid in nature, grand in scope, made up of a musical melting pot of styles, influences, talent and experience. You can hear all of these on their latest album, a career-spanning compilation of singles, compilation tracks and unreleased gems called The Decline of Country & Western Civilization, Part II



Michael Meldrum —"Forget It"
From Open Ended Question on Righteous Babe Records
Open Ended Question showcases Michael Meldrum’s rich musical background with tracks that range from jubilant New Orleans romps to somber folk ballads. Breezy summer tunes and gritty roadhouse blues become intriguing neighbors to Indian themes and meditative chants, while Meldrum’s honest tales of bars and empty streets make for sincere, accessible songs filled with emotion and interwoven with religious imagery.


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Wednesday, May 3, 2006
by PopMatters Staff


FEATURED MYSPACE ARTIST
Souad Massi


  World from France


multiple tracks [MySpace]
player [artist site]


Camera Obscura
“I Need All the Friends I Can Get” [MP3]


The Submarines
“Peace and Hate” [MP3]


Mia Doi Todd
“What If We Do?” (Nobody Remix) [MP3]


The Lovely Feathers
“Fudgicle” [MP3]


The Giraffes
“Having Fun” [MP3]


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Tuesday, May 2, 2006
by PopMatters Staff


PopMatters Sponsor


The iOs

“Resident Alien” [MP3]

multiple songs [MySpace]


The iOs debut full-length, In Sunday Songs is a classic indie-pop, rock album with 10 songs to cheer you up on a rainy Sunday. The iOs mix the keyboard exuberance of Mates of State with the grittier rock guitars of Weezer.


Psychic Ills
“4 AM” [MP3]
“Killers” [MP3]


Juelz Santana
“Clock Work” [windows | real]


The Octopus Project
“Malaria Codes” [MP3]


Tokyo Police Club
“Cheer It On” [MP3]
“Nature of the Experiment” [MP3]


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Monday, May 1, 2006
by PopMatters Staff


Sean Na Na
“Double Date” [MP3]
“Grew Into My Body” [MP3]
“Princess and the Pony” [MP3]
“Tumor Party” [MP3]


DeVotchKa
“Venus in Furs” [MP3]


Clor
“Good Stuff” [windows | real]
“Hearts on Fire” [windows | real]
“Love & Pain” [windows | real]


Alias + Tarsier
“Dr. C” [MP3]


Debbie Harry & Iggy Pop
video: “Well Did You Evah?” [windows | quicktime]


The Eastern Stars
“The Diamonds in Your Eyes” [MP3]


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