Archive for April, 2010

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Coming Together

April 27, 2010

“I’ve Wanted You Since Middle School (Album Version)” a mashup by 2 Guys And A System

Note: This is a mashup I made under my old act 2 Guys And A System aka 2GS. It had a very limited run, so here’s another shot. Also, I made another version of the song that removed the Muppets and Marvin Gaye samples and extended the Bella sample over the bridge. Kathy likes that version of the song more and I’ll probably post it some time later.

Chris surveys the crowd from the duplex kitchen as he goes to get a cup of water to clear his throat. His hands are slick with sweat and he almost drops the cup onto the wooden floor. The guitar is on the porch, waiting for Chris to make it sing. The people mull about talking in their buzzed haze. People are gonna network tonight. People are gonna flirt tonight. Some people might be disappointed tonight.

Lisa is spinning hip hop and bastard pop music and working the crowd before Chris joins her. She has the idea to pull this show together for the block party. It is a first for their neighborhood, getting the three acts together onstage. If it sucks, they all go down.

Lisa gets three of the women in her office to sing the hook for the jam. It’s the first time singing in public for two of them, and the third has just bowling-alley-karaoke and SingStar experience. There’s anticipation in the air: to perform, to show, to make yourself known.

Showtime!

Lisa drops the first beat and Chris gets nervous and tries to break the tension with a joke, but the audience doesn’t care. They came for a show. They get it when the Accounting Trio sings the first notes.

Chris feels like the whole show is about to fall apart as he plays his guitar over the beats, but he pushes it to the back of his mind when he sees his wife Melissa and their daughter Jane. He sings the song he sings to Melissa because he still loves her and wants her.

Even when some guy gets drunk, jumps the stage, and refuses to leave, he sings like an angel standing in with the Accounting Trio. By the last chorus, everyone is jamming together and the neighborhood is clapping along.

Things feel right tonight.

Ingredients

Eric B. & Rakim – “Paid In Full” from the 4th & B’Way/Island album Paid In Full (1987)

The Muppets – “Pachalafaka” from the Arista/Pye album The Muppet Show (1977)

Third Eye Blind – “I Want You” from the Elektra album Third Eye Blind (1997)

Bella – “Ordinary Girl” from the Warner Bros./Reprise single Caught Up (2006)

Nine Inch Nails – “Closer” from the Nothing/Interscope album The Downward Spiral (1994)

Marvin Gaye – “Sexual Healing” from the Columbia album Midnight Love (1982)

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Play Something With Words!

April 22, 2010

When I used to DJ parties with my friends in college, one command one of us would get from partygoers on several occasions was to “play something with words.” What can I say, my friend Nick loved instrumental deep techno and who was I to tell him to change his act? Since we played for free, we played what we liked. It’s professional courtesy.

I can understand the need to hear vocals in dance music. When I’ve attended electronic festivals, I was surprised to hear a lot of the DJs just playing songs without words. Their beats were often off-kilter and amazing but I found myself wanting to sing along with something. Fatboy Slim understood this when I went to see him DJ at Chicago’s The Metro in 2004. Not only did he play tons of hits that the crowd could get into, he got the audience into little singalongs by writing lyrics on his records sleeves with a marker and holding them up to the crowd. So it feels right that he found the record label that published the music in today’s post.

The Black Ghosts are the apparitions of dead bands: one guy was the singer from Simian and the other guy was a DJ and producer in The Wiseguys. They make dance rock but they use horror/goth motifs in their record artwork and press material. Theo Keating’s beats can be jacked-up and banging, weird and sexy, or somewhere in between. I find Simon Lord’s singing voice fun to match. My one criticism is the actual lyrics, which are from your basic “sex-crazed single sensitive guy” well, so take that into consideration.

All in all though, this is pretty good stuff. The track below is catchy enough to go in a dance or workout mix, but it’s just weird enough to stand out from your typical jams. And to you party crowds, yes, it has words.

The Black Ghosts – “I Want Nothing” from the Southern Fried Records album The Black Ghosts (2008)

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Internet Roundup

April 21, 2010

Here’s what I’m digging this week….

Sloan has a new B-Sides collection out. Sloan is one of my all-times favorite bands and I’m pretty excited about it. They have a neat streaming music page featuring all of their albums and EPs. Check it out!

Speaking of new albums, the Scissor Sisters announced Night Work which is coming out in June. Over their last 2 records they’ve managed a fantastic fusion of the ABBA/Elton John AM Gold and deliciously decadent disco house. I can’t wait! Head to their site to hear a preview track!

RCRD LBL, one of the best legal music download sites since the old Epitonic in its glory days, has a diverse collection of neat songs in rock, hip-hop, electronic, and more! Seriously, there’s something for everyone. Recently they posted some tracks from Moby’s new Wait for Me Remixes album. I recommend the Zodiac Cartel Remix of the title track. Pure dancefloor fire!

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Shopping For Feathers In The Afterlife

April 18, 2010

“Tough Feathershoppers” a new mashup by Kodiax

First: I hope everyone had a great Record Store Day. Kathy and I went to the fabulous Twist and Shout store in Denver. We bought CDs from The Dirtbombs and Annie and caught a live DJ set from Bonobo. Keep supporting your local music stores, party people!

Onto the main post!

The mashup in today’s post came from my Final Audition project. It was originally going to be a simple blend of two of the songs below, but Kathy had a great idea to add in more backing tracks and the mashup was ready to rock!

In the end I was inspired by 2 Many DJs’ classic mashup remix of the Beastie Boys’ “Intergalactic” that went from Herbie Hancock to INXS to AC/DC for backing tracks. The great thing about that mix was how on each verse the instrumental switched and tone of the song completely changed while the core song stayed the same. Plus the song choices were just top notch. To this day I find it to be a fantastic party track.

For “Tough Feathershoppers,” I had a similar M.O.: find a mix of tracks and but keep the tone consistent. This is a more chilled out head-nodding vibe.

Here’s the mashup. Rock your body tonight!

Ingredients

Kodiax – “Afterlife Makeout Part 2” from the Agagaas EP Bears In the Hood (2009)

Nikka Costa – “Like A Feather” from the Virgin album Everybody Got Their Something (2001)

Purple Ribbon Allstars – “Body Rock” from the Purple Ribbon/Virgin album Big Boi Presents…Got Purp? Vol. 2 (2005)

50 Cent – “Window Shopper” from the G-Unit/Shady/Aftermath/Interscope soundtrack Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ (2005)

New Kids On The Block – “Hangin’ Tough” from the Columbia album Hangin’ Tough (1988)

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The Final Audition Part 2

April 17, 2010

American Idol Image from Progressive Boink

As I continue to go through my music and decide what CDs to donate, I found a few tracks that seemed to fit along a dancey theme. These tracks also kinda show how times were different back in the late 90s and early 2000s.

The Debelah Morgan track represents a time when were a lot more R&B singers out on the market. There seemed like there were especially more women R&B singers in both solo and group from before Beyonce and Rihanna locked it down. It’s market consolidation in action!

Meanwhile, I remember when electronic acts got airplay on rock stations. The kind that did get airplay were in that breakbeat subgenere of Big Beat. While The Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim were the biggest acts to come out of that scene, there were tons of acts that made little blips and then went away. Big Beat was to 1996 what Grunge was to 1991 and Skint was the Sub Pop nexus of the scene. This Aleem track was likely one of those blips that popped and faded.

A few years later, the Big Beat sound went out of favor and more straightforward disco-lounge-pop acts got somewhat popular. Kylie Minogue and Madison Avenue were the two that come to mind for me, but DJ Spiller had a hit or two in there as well.

The tracks below were from my donation pile but I want to share them with you. I tried to find the official websites but it seems a though a lot of these artists have faded into obscurity and off the record. Thank God for Discogs and Wikipedia. These few singles are all that remain….

Debelah Morgan – “Dance With Me (Boom Boom Remix)” from 2000 Atlantic single Dance With Me (2000)

Aleem – “Why Hawaii (Original Formula Mix)” from the Conrete/Pro-Zak EP Why Hawaii (1996)

DJ Spiller – “Positive” from the Black Moon single Positive (1998)

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The Final Audition

April 11, 2010

I have a pile of music sitting on my desk at home. I’ve had this music for a long time – none of it is new. This isn’t some big reorganization move, although that’s part of it. No, I’m deciding what music I own is worth keeping. I never thought that I would say this.

I have too much music.

At least, I have too much for the space I have allotted for it. At this point in my life I’m too mobile. When I’m established, I’ll have some grand, sprawling library rendered useless by its sheer volume, like some fat cat rendered immobile by the weight of prosperity. Until then, I’ll trim some of the fat. Not a lot, but a little.

There will still be sprawl. There will still be stuff that is hard to get at. But a little purging is OK. Two years ago one of my hard drives crashed and I lost 4 years of music. Eight years before that I gradually lost my first 200 CDs due to scratched discs and negligent care. “The tide rises, the tide falls….”

It’s time to face the music.

From the bin of promo discs that fell into my hands in high school and college….

From the days when there were few mp3 blogs and when I learned about music from CMJ New Music Monthly and Revolution….

From major label busts and international indie never-weres in the fat times of the early 2000s….

From every disc I donated I chose to save a few songs, including these….

Jersey Street Allstars – “Burnin’” from the Electric Chair single Burnin (2003) (out of print)

Eric Benet – “Closer” from the Warner Bros album Better and Better (2001) (unreleased)

Poe – “Haunted” from the Atlantic album Haunted (2000)