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I like a little rhythm and blues in my rock ‘n’ roll

Posted in Recommendations with tags , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2009 by stevenreedkelly

Ok, before you go any further, read this article from the New Yorker a couple years ago.

I’ll admit that I don’t really like the Arcade Fire very much – and I won’t claim that blues roots or syncopated rhythms would add to their appeal.  Actually, I’ll go out on a limb here and say that there’s just not a lot of the indie rock scene that I buy into totally – and I’ve definitely used the term “soul-less” to describe the latest incarnation of this very broad genre.  (Generalization Alert!) Where’s the substance in LCD Soundsystem and cocaine abuse?  (You suck Pitchfork!)

I just wanted to highlight some tunes that are bringing back the soul.

1. Person L – “The Pleasure is All Mine”
Kenny Vasoli from the Starting Line oughta know exactly how to make you groove.  He’s a bass player at heart, after all.  Person L’s new album The Positives might not win over all the fans of his previous band, but the music is experimental enough to garner critical acclaim – and a lot of the tunes make a nod to late 60s and early 70s rock.  Kenny’s new found howling is definitely a tip of the cap to old blues players too.  Shake your ass to this:

2. Bermuda – “Dinosaur on the Ark (ft. Esau Mwamawaya)”
Maybe a few of you are familiar with the Exit – a now defunct punk band from NYC that was pretty heavily influenced by the Police and the Clash.  Their bass player jumped ship to join the Dropkick Murphys.  This saddens me to no end because their 2004 album Home for an Island was ridiculously good.  The fact that they were a three-piece is even more awe-inspiring.

Ben Brewer, the guitarist for the Exit and M.I.A’s baby’s daddy is apparently still making music (sometimes) and my friend Blake alerted me to this song earlier this year.  I can’t tell if Bermuda is officially going to be a new band or not, but this song is so promising!  I can only hope he continues to work in this vein of music.

If this doesn’t get your head bobbing… I just don’t know what to tell you.  Didn’t the Animal Collective just release an EP of more sample loops and droning?


Pitchfork sucks (part 1 of what will be most likely many)

Posted in Rants with tags , , on November 12, 2009 by stevenreedkelly

Sometimes I visit  I don’t know why.  I know damn well I’m just going to get upset.

This month under Best New Music, they’ve featured Fuck Buttons’ new album Tarot Sport.  The reviewer on Pitchfork gave this album a 9.0 – now, for those of you unfamiliar with their rating system, this score will almost assuredly land Tarot Sport on the “Pitchfork’s Best of 2009” list… probably somewhere near the top.  A 9.0 rating means that for the next three months, this band will sell out every show in New York and LA (and consequently Chicago, San Francisco and probably Austin).

Just in case you were wondering what you were missing out on…

It’s two douchebags playing with Reason (poorly).  Could this stage show be more boring?  The entire album is composed of tracks with monotonous kick drum under fuzzy and not-so-fuzzy synths.  Minimal vocals.  Minimal melody.  I can’t tell if this is a joke or not.  I always half-suspected the men and women of Pitchfork were just a bunch of smug assholes trying to pull a prank on the world.  Case in point, Fuck Buttons.