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KNUCKLES STRIKES AGAIN
Pigeon John - “Dragon Slayer”
The perennially awesome master of self-deprecating rap (think the ANTI-dick
swinger) is back with new album and a title that seems like he’s
dropped the shy, unlucky guy image for more of a heroic one. On “Dragon
Slayer” Pigeon John has indeed tried to reinvent himself a bit, but
thankfully he hasn’t dropped the mister-nice-guy-finishes-last persona
that has made his music so refreshing in this age of ‘screw them hoes’
style gangsta rap.
Pigeon has decided to maintain his image while exploring his general
song-writing abilities more, creating a rap album that exudes wit and
warmth. His mood changes throughout, while staying in an almost ambient
mood that serves to draw you into the narratives he chooses to create
with his lyrics. He ends up singing most of the time instead of rapping
over backing vocals as he has done before, and at moments he lets the
music swell and push him off stage in a very indie-pop manner.
Thankfully all his humor and character as omnipresent as his other cd’s. His
version of a ‘I come from the streets and had to work for this sh**’
song, “Buttersoft Seats” rebels against the gangsta-rap cliches by
describing how he never got Rolex’s, only Casio calculator watches, but
it’s all okay now - he has a brand new truck with buttersoft seats. His
version of ‘aw hell, it’s about to get real’, “Dude, It’s ON”, is a
mellow, slow-swelling song about a fight outside a motel where the music
speaks more than he does. “Davey Rockit” is about the son of a failed
and abusive DJ, but Pigeon manages to create full and dynamic characters
in this short track that makes you truly care for the people he sings
Really, most of the album plays like a very good indie rock/pop album with only
mild electronic instrumentation. The main difference is that Pigeon
John has the ability to write in a more MC style, and his knowledge
allows for a better story to be imbued into each track that drives the
album to higher levels than his previous releases - which is saying
something for a guy who regularly gets top ratings from critics.
Best of all? He still comes off as the nicest MC you’ll ever hear.
Shrt Rvws By E
Underworld - Barking
Electronic/trance - Underworld is the collaboration of Karl Hyde and Rick Smith, both of which have been producing music since the early 80’s. Though I have not listen to much electronic music in my day, I can certainly recognize the catchy appeal of this album and I’m sure that those wanting to put new electronic/trance into their libraries should pick this album up.
RT #1, 2, 3
Suuns - Zeroes QC
Experimental rock/pop - Suuns, a minimalist rock group from Montreal, caught me off guard with this album. Being a progressive rock, jazz, metal guy I usually get turned off when I hear the word “minimalist”, but this album features some pretty sweet tunes. The first track “Armed For Peace” has some especially cool riffs and rhythms.
Other RTs #3, 7, 8
Evolett - For Your Consideration
Rock - Fans of rock bands with a female lead should listen to this album up. It has a very strong Paramore, Evanescence, Fly-Leaf pop-rock feel. That is all…
RT #3, 5, 8
We've got a variety of stuff in this week. Ch-ch-ch-check it out! (featuring a review by Doug 2.0)
We Landed on the Moon!- This Will Be One For the Books- It may be a bit of shameless promotion for the upcoming Freaker’s Ball (OCTOBER 29th at the MOOSE LODGE), but in all honesty, this album is a really good one. If you’re unfamiliar with WLOTM, their sound is an ambient rock similar to Ida Maria or the Grates. The lead singer has a strong voice that is very memorable and the instrumental section of the band proves that your classic instruments can produce a modern sound. I love the first track “The Good Fight” and “Across the Sun” is a catchy riff that really hooks you into the rest of the album. Also check out “On Our Last Legs” and “No Show”
Eskmo- Eskmo- If you like dubstep, you’ll like this album. If you don’t like dubstep, or don’t really know it, you’ll probably still like this album. Eskmo, the alias of Brendan Angelides, creates an ambience that lightens up your basic dubstep, adds some glitch, and expands your awareness of the capabilities of music. Check out “Cloudlight” fo’ sho’ and while you’re add it, “The Melody” and “Become Matter Soon, For You” (Ben Williams liked it, so it has to be the best, right?)
Sufjan Stevens- The Age of Adz- Fans of Sufjan will love this new album. His style using soft vocals and soft harmonies proves again to be effective as well as his experimentation with synthesizers and more electronic beats. The variety of music on this album provides something for everyone. “Too Much” has a good sound to it as well as “Vesuvius” and “Age of Adz” but I think “Get Real, Get Right” is my favorite.
Various Artists- The Vampire Diaries Original Television Soundtrack- In the tradition of franchises that glamorize vampirism, this soundtrack has a surprising amount of good artists and tracks. The flow of the album is pretty good, with songs that probably any vampire show exec would associate with dark stereotypical new-age vampire scenes. Check out “We Radiate” by Goldfrapp, the poppy, “Obsession,” and the Gorillaz “On Melancholy Hill” and try not to be put off by the other tracks made to arouse 13-21 year old girls who LUV VAMPIREZ.
Bo Burnham- Words Words Words- If you love dick jokes and facials, you’ll appreciate Bo Burnham’s new comedy album. While I appreciated greatly his track “Rant” which calls out religious hypocrisy and “Art Is Dead,” a track where he pokes fun at himself for being an attention whore, some of his material was more offensive than clever and I didn’t really appreciate it. But that’s just the angry feminist in me.
Antony and the Johnsons- Swanlights- The songs are a little spacey, but I really enjoy the haunting male vocals on this album. The track “Ghost” reminds me of the opening song of an indie movie, with lots of well-placed piano. Along with “Ghost” check out “Fletta,” a collaboration with Bjork and “Swanlights.”
Pomegranates- One of Us- A great album with a mix of rock, pop, and ambient rock. I really dug “50s” and “Anywhere You Go” for their rock sound while “One of Us” and “White Fawn” were ethereal tracks. I get a Los Campesinos vibe from them while they liken themselves to Wolf Parade, Deerhunter, and Flaming Lips
US English- What Frontier EP- This album interested me. The lyrics are intelligent and thought-provoking and the music behind them is quirky. The first track, “What Frontier” reminded me of a less-whiny Bright Eyes or a less-synthy Hellogoodbye. The album overall is accurately described as “avante-garde” and worth listening to if you want to try new things.
Other quick suggestions:
Folk/ Folk Rock fans:
The Avett Brothers-Live, Volume 3- Live folk album with some good tunes and some surprises. Track 2 totally caught me off guard.
Fistful of Mercy- As I Call You Down- An acoustic album with a variety of folk tracks, it’s easy-listening and good music to chillax to. I like the title track “As I Call You Down”
For those who like old school country (Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Horton)
The Secret Sisters- The Secret Sisters
The Black- Sun in the Day Moon at Night
DOUG 2.0 on Bassnectar’s Wildstyle
01 - Hot Right Now (Bassnectar Remix)Very deep and turbulant remix of the Amp Live original track. At the end of the track, it seems there’s a bit of a cliff-hanger. I keep waiting for the drop! Mmmph!!
02 - Wildstyle Method (feat. 40 Love)Starts off at a higher octive, but still has intense bass! And the drop x.x OMG the drop at 1:04 is intense. I spasmed all over, no joke. The tornado / nuclear war siren makes me chill near the 4 minute mark. This track left me needing new pants, especially with the low-pass finale.
03 - Falling (feat. Paper Machete)Gyee-tary! Paper Machete’s vocals add a calming ambient touch - luckily I don’t have to change pants again.Well, fuck. 1:22 brings in heavy dirty dubs. I spoke too soon. Falling ends fairly calm.
04 - The 808 Track (feat. Mighty High Coup)808808808808808808 I hate airhorns in my playlist. At least their not the main focus throughout the entire track. Still, the good ol’ dubs helped drawn out the airhorn drama.
05 - Underwater (feat. Tina Malia)Very ambient and snarey, followed by a dark and deep bassline. Tina Malia adds a softer touch, but Bassnectar pretty much dominates her softness with his hardness. Oh yeah, I went there >:3
06 - EncoreThis track is something I’d expect from a live performance. Indubidably, it is an encore. Commense the dancing.
07 - Fun with Synthesizers Fans of chilling children laughter will like this song. Hearing a kid laugh in music sometimes scares the shit out of me from all of my experience with bad horror movies. Don’t worry, this track isn’t creepy; the synthesizers make it so. The playful children probably symbolize something about Bassnectar messing about the synth with the innocense of childhood. Or something fruity/poetic like that.
— Tori, ElectrOasis
Get Excited for MUSIC!
Afraid of Figs - Radio Sampler
This promo consists of three incredibly sarcastic tracks. My favorite is a tie between the first and last: “I Ate a Vegan” where the band makes fun of “being green” and “Don’t Want to Be Your Facebook Friend.” These tracks are not melodic; they’re more upbeat ska punk. The sax is definitely a trademark of the songs.
Collapse Under the Empire - “The Sirens Sound”
This album is completely instrumental, primarily strings. Overall I’d describe the sound as ambient and there are a couple that sound a lot like The Postal Service, but obviously without lyrics. My favorite is track 2 “Grade Separation.” Absolutely beautiful.
Until next time,
Quick Reviews by Ethan
The Vita Ruins - A Day Without a Name
Electro-pop, indie. This is a relatively dark album with an atmospheric feel to it. Though the album has its moments, the energy level and the dynamic range remains limited. Not to say it’s a bad album, some of it reminds me of Muse’s older work, but just less interesting.
Still, check it out. You might find exactly what you are looking for.
Margaret Cho – Cho Dependent
Before I say anything about the music, I need to warn you that you should check the lyrics when you consider playing this album. Most of the tracks are questionable or unplayable on-air. With that out of the way, the album is pretty entertaining. The album features many accompanying artists (including Tommy Chong and Fiona Apple) with some pretty funny lyrics. Definitely worth a listen.
Toussaint – Black Gold
Reggae. Now this is a really refreshing album to come into the station. Very traditional, old school reggae mix with some modern soul, R&B. Highly recommended that you check this album out.
RT #2, 3, 4, 12, 13
ALBUMS FOR THIS GOOD WEEK
Pick of the week:
Young the Giant- Young the Giant- Every track on this album makes me feel good. Not only are the vocals genuine and heartfelt, but the music behind it is wonderfully melodic. I get a small bit of a Vampire Weekend vibe but these guys definitely hold their own. I guess I’d call it easy-listening indie rock with heart. Check out “Cough Syrup”, “My Body,”
Other good stuff:
Various Artists- 50 Years of Dr. Martens- Who would’ve thought that a shoe company could produce a good album with lots of variety? This album consists of decently popular artists doing covers of what they refer to as “cult classics” (I didn’t even realize you could have a cult song. I’m so uncool). Artists such as The Raveonettes, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Noisettes bring their own spin to these tracks and in turn produce a wonderfully eclectic compilation. Fans of funk will enjoy DaM FunK’s “Things That Dreams Are Made Of”, people who love female rockers will dig “Ever Fallen in Love” by Noisettes and “I Wanna Be Adored” by the Raveonettes, and those who dig slower tracks will like “Lilac Wine” by The Cinematic Orchestra and “Dirty Old Town” by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. PS- Janelle Monae is on the cover but has no song on the album, which makes me a little sad. (Also, if you look inside the cover, one of the songs looks like it says “hangina” which made me giggle)
Conan O’Brien (yep, that guy)- And They Call Me Mad?- Conan O’Brien teams up with Jack White to produce this collection of 4 tracks. “And They Call Me Mad?” is a spoken-word play on the story of Frankenstein’s monster, which is completely clean and fun. The second track is an interview with Conan himself in which he performs impressions, gives some anecdotes, and speaks nonsense. (No mention of the NBC stuff, which I respect) Contains some indecencies, so only safe harbor. “Polk Salad Annie” is Conan speak-singing to a bluesy rock nonsense track. It’s fairly entertaining but again, only safe harbor. I think my favorite track is Conan and Jack White’s cover of Eddie Cochran’s “Twenty Flight Rock” It’s completely clean and has a sweet rockabilly sound.
Gospel Claws- C-L-A-W-S - If you liked their first album, you’ll really dig Gospel Claw’s second release that epitomizes the indie genre. Tracks like “Walk Me Down” and “Baby I’ll Take You Home” will please the indie pop lovers while “Avenues” and “Somebody Stole My Money” are more folk-like and will fulfill the dreams of people like myself who enjoyed “Don’t Let it Die” from their first album. Tracks like “Householder” and “Greeley Estates” combine multiple genres and provide a stoic sound. Definitely give it a try.
Tim Chad and Sherry- Baby We Can Work It Out- They liken themselves to MGMT and the Flaming Lips, but they definitely separate themselves from the pack. A good mix of electro and funk tracks as well as a sampling of island reggae, it’s something I can’t say I’ve heard before. “The Love I Make” has an awesome sound as well as ”Rocket Tonight”
The Atomic Square- After It’s All Said and Done- Alternative Rock with a hint of indie pop, it’s nothing you haven’t heard before but it’s a decent sound. The best tracks are the ones not recommended on the label. I like “Fall in the Square,” a purely instrumental track and “Headlights.”
Holy Sons- Survivalist Tales- I’m currently angry at this album. Way to not warn me about FCC indecencies, assholes. But really, the album is filled with that man singing in a deep falsetto with some decent background and the album art is pretty awesome.
Have a good second half of your week guys.
Action Jackson’s Reviews:
Jupe Jupe - Invaders
RIYD is listed as Hot Chip, Cut Copy and LCD soundsystem. This album draws heavily from 80’s synthpop and new wave, almost to the point that they are a Flock Of Seagulls cover. If you like the 80’s style, these guys are a great modern analog. Try #2.
The Hundred In The Hands - The Hundred In The Hands
Reminds me of other indie bands with a synth back such as the Rural Alberta Advantage or Faded Paper Figures. The Sleeve sticker cites French House, but in several of the tracks the influence is practically negligible. Track #1 is worth a listen for indie pop shows.