Cooly G is really too relaxed, too Schmoov Bruv, to be peak hour dancefloor fodder. But hers is the proper pop delineation of dubstep and UK Funky, an alternative to the Katy B version of such with the edges smoothed out and syncopation depleted into standard four-to-the-floor house. Instead, think of her hits like “Love Dub” and, now, “Landscapes” (out soon on Hyberdub) as beginning of the night pieces, warm up tunes that truly make you feel warm.
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This year finds Lovedrug reintroducing themselves to the music community. Since lead singer Michael Shepard put the group together after trying his hand at film school, the band from Nashville, Tennessee by way of Ohio, met with success in 2007 with Everything Ends Where it Starts, based on the strength of singles like “Happy Apple Poison” and Ghost By Your Side”. Their last full length project, The Sucker Punch Show includes producing credits to Michael Beinhorn (Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mew). The March 2012 release of Wild Blood, however, takes Lovedrug in a new direction. In addition to being the group’s first independent full length release, a “live-to-analog-tape” recording style gives Wild Blood a truer rock sound.
For a taste of what’s to come, Lovedrug released the split single “Dinosaur/ Pink Champagne” in September 2011. Shepard and company continue injecting a home grown feel to the new material; first by using a video written and directed by Shepard himself, and now, in a PopMatters premiere, with the home footage vibe to the accompanying video for “Pink Champagne”.
Sometimes you hear something new, fresh, and it reminds you of why music is, as the philosopher Eric Olson once said, “The sound of life”. “Champion Sound” by Crystal Fighters did that for me today.
Imagine Stereo MCs covering Fleetwood Mac via Empire of the Sun—those are the touchstones. It’s odd, but still within stroking-distance of convention; there’s some bizarre sunshine in there (that’ll be the Fleetwood Mac, or if you prefer, Empire of the Sun) and it’s the kind of record you never want to end. It takes you places and sends you leapfrogging up and down your memories, remembering all sorts of luscious occasions – usually to do with love and summer and girls (or boys).
It’s November and the compiling of year-end lists is in full effect. Pity then that Friendly Fires waited until the month of eschewing the new and reflecting on the year’s bounty to put out what is easily one of the best music videos this year, in support of one of the finest tracks on their very fine 2011 sophomore release Pala. Directed by special effects whiz David Lewandowski, whose efforts were recently seen on the big screen in last year’s remake of Tron, the video has the feel of a higher-scale Daft Punk video. For the trivia hounds among us, it’s been alleged on Tumblr that lead singer Ed Macfarlane—dancing dynamo that he is—left the strutting and grinding to a(personal opinion: less sensuous)double for the video; Macfarlane was relegated to a green screen in order to have his head boxified.—Maria Schurr
One of the more stylishly heartbroken songs from Friendly Fires’ sophomore record Pala is given a goofy, kind of surreal treatment… which isn’t that surprising when you realize that it was put together by the guy who did “Going to the Store.” Like the band itself, the video is bright and happy-go-lucky enough on the surface, but there’s a little pathos poking through… and unlike the travelogue video for “Hawaiian Air”, there isn’t a happy ending. Street dancing and massive damage; not a bad representation of Friendly Fires’ music, really.—Ian Mathers
Contest is now closed! Please be sure to check pick up SMiLE on compact disc or vinyl!
Coinciding with the official release of their long lost SMiLE album this month, The Beach Boys have started up a web series entitled, “Starting a SMiLE”, to discuss the legendary SMiLE Sessions. We are sharing the first of the clips below, but for the rest, please check out the official Beach Boys YouTube page.
We know you’ve been looking forward to the album so be sure to pick up The SMiLE Sessions in a variety of formats. Your options to pick up the Never-Before-Released Original 1966-‘67 Album Sessions include:
* Find SMiLE on iTunes now
* Obtain the 2 CD set of SMiLE from Amazon
* Pick up the gorgeous gatefold 2 LP SMiLE at Amazon
* Shell out for The Smile Sessions Box Set with 5 CDs, 2 LPs, a 60-page book and more at Amazon
* Browse the special packages available exclusively at TheBeachBoys.com
// Moving Pixels
"Spirits of Xanadu wrings emotion and style out of its low fidelity graphics.READ the article