Sunday, March 30, 2008

Orange Alert's Music Minute

Bell has been the topic of many conversations over the last several weeks, and it all started with their appearance at SXSW earlier this month. Now they have released their debut ep, surprisingly titled EP, and are popping up all over the place. One very fitting place you can find Bell will be on Stereogum's Tribute to Bjork's Post album (going live tomorrow). Olga Bell and her band will be performing "It's Oh So Quiet", and I am sure she will nail it. You see, Bell has sound that is very similar to that of Bjork. I am not going to say they are trying to be Bjork, but their are very few distinctions. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Listen to: Echinacea (mp3)

I don't know if I really want to discuss men without pants, I mean I am in favor of all men wearing pants, seriously... keep them on! Ok, Men Without Pants is actually the new project from Russell Simins (Jon Spencer Blues Explosion) and Dan The Automator (you know who he is!), and their first album, Naturally, it is set for release late spring/early summer. Featuring contributions from Sean Lennon, Cibo Matto, members of The Mooney Suzuki, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and a few special guests to be announced this album is sure to be an electro-funk, beat filled, good time.

Listen to: And The Girls Go (mp3)

Los Angeles band Lucky Dragons have been together since 2000, and on May 6th they will release their 18th album. That's right 18 albums of genre bending futuristic music. It is as if they are searching for a sound that has not been discovered yet, and through combinations, explorations, finally they have discovered "Dream Island Laughing Language". Maybe they have created a new language, maybe not, but they have created a new way to play music. Just take a look at the instruments involved:
sarah rara - - singing, rocks, hands, flutes, mbira, poppies, mini bongos
luke fischbeck - - singing, rocks, rubber bands, mini dulcimer, flutes, bells, bowls, hands, mbira, poppies, necklaces, cassettes, piano, editing
tom van buskirk - - rocks, tambourine (on "free guys by the sea")
annelise grimm - - rocks (on "free guys by the sea")

Listen to: Morning Ritual (mp3)

Alaska In Winter came about when art student Brandon Bethancourt spent a semester recording music in an isolated cabin on the south coast of Alaska. Upon arrival back in New Mexico, he teamed up with Zach Condon of Beirut, Heather Trost of A Hawk And A Hacksaw and other friends, and thus began work on his album. Brandon, the group’s songwriter, takes much of his influence from his early years of growing up in the American Southwest, immersed in the musical low-rider culture of Santa Fe, New Mexico, as well as slight Arabian influence on the part of his parents and their Byzantine church music.

Dance Party in the Balkans is a rich album with various musical colors. He started programming using the recording software “Audacity” and managed to get a hold of a keyboard and started recording a lo-fi pop album in his tiny cabin out in the middle of nowhere Alaska, during the winter, and thus the project, “Alaska In Winter” was created. Dance Party in the Balkans is a beautiful downtempo ballad where subtle programming marries itself with live Eastern European musical elements. This musical experimentation came to fruition after Brandon took a five-week trip to Eastern Europe to experience local dance parties.

Listen to: A mini-mix of Alaska In Winter's debut (mp3)

Minnesota's Martin Dosh plays with a sense of freedom and long list of talented friends on his fourth studio album, Wolves and Wishes. To be released on May 13th, the album features appearances by Andrew Bird, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, and more.

Listen to: If you want to, you have to (mp3)

Swedish band Robert Church and The Holy Community play quick and quirky little pop songs that float along almost with out notice. However, if you enjoy pop that clocks in a 1:50, or need a song to squeeze onto the end of that mixtape you should give them a listen.

Listen to: Sunday Love (mp3)

The Peel Back: Steinski What Does it All Mean 1983-2006 (Illegal Art, May 2008)

This is not your typical peel back because this album will not be released until May 27th, but Steinski is a legend and this 42 track, 2 disc retrospective is long over due. Steve Stein is one of the most influential producers in hiphop, sampling, and cut & paste. Better known by his nom-de-tune Steinski, his legendary Tommy Boy Records releases known as “The Lessons” are cited as definitive influences by DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist and Fatboy Slim, among others. Steinski, along with partner Double Dee (Douglas DiFranco) co-produced the series of records known as “The Lessons,” “The Payoff Mix” (MP3), “Lesson 2 (The James Brown Mix)”, and “Lesson 3 (The History Of Hiphop)” for the Tommy Boy label in the early 1980’s. The first lesson won a nationwide remix contest run by Tommy Boy Records and judged by Afrika Bambaataa, Shep Pettibone, Jellybean Benitez and Arthur Baker. The record subsequently became a Top 10 request on urban radio nationwide. These analog tape cut-and-paste collages, still widely bootlegged (and wildly illegal), are generally acknowledged as three of the most influential works in the world of hiphop and dance music production.
The tracks in this 2-disc release are too numerous to list, but you will know his work when you hear it. You can hear more at his myspace page.

No comments: