Thursday, January 31, 2013

Youth Lagoon-Dropla

Youth Lagoon's The Year of Hibernation was a coup for bedroom musicians worldwide. Proving that good music doesn't have to be created by the hour, Youth Lagoon's debut was both a contender for the album of the year of 2011 and a possible sign of the wave of the future. It's been almost a year and a half since his debut with nary a peep from the Idahoan but luckily for fans of his chillwave sound and bedroom producers everywhere, he's coming out soon with his sophomore album and is probably celebrating the big news that he'll be playing Coachella in a few months time. Big 2013 for the young man so far, and although I have my doubts that his sound will translate well to the massive tents of Chella, there are few things that sound better through headphones than his almost spartanly minimalistic sound. On his new single "Dropla," YL expands his sound and incorporates effects whose sources seem to range from Bollywood flicks to space travel. A 2013 twist on Peter Pan's "I'll never group up," YL repeats "You'll never die" until it becomes a mantra that guides along a story of betrayal- making this probably the most interesting song I've heard in the last six months. Ending with a drawn out fade-out, "Dropla" is an early standout for a year in music that should be pretty amazing. 

Download Youth Lagoon Dropla

Monday, January 28, 2013

Griffdawg's Choice Nugs: The Offspring-Nitro

This is GriffDawg checking in from the Basque Country-

Discovering new music is one of the raddest things around.  Rediscovering music is just as cool.  I love finding an album that I used to listen to all the time but have not heard in years.  Listening to that music takes me back to a different point in my life.  It helps provide me with perspective.  And, most of the time, I can still sing all the words!

I recently rediscovered the album Smash by the Offspring, which is a classic album from my childhood.  One of the reasons I stopped listening to this album was because The Offspring started making horrible music like “Pretty Fly for a White Guy” and other such horrible songs.  After making such horrible commercial music, I became embarrassed to listen to them.  However, now enough time has passed so that we can listen to Smash, appreciate it for what it is, and not think about how bad of a band the Offspring became.

The album is one that can be listened from front to back.  The band captured an amazing energy and the bottom line is that it fucking rocks.

I have a great idea, listen to Smash, grow your hair long, scream along, rock out, and drink a Budwiser!

Download The Offspring Nitro (Youth Energy)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

1Train Spotify Playlist

Proving once again that an earlier-than-usual leak means absolutely nothing, A$AP Rocky's debut album LONG.LIVE.A$AP is already being penned in as the best rap album of the year despite it being only mid-January. He's not the best storyteller, and the album is bereft of any stellar lyrical content, but it does have a bold vision and a unique sound and will likely be one of the most influential albums of the year in terms of the direction that rap is going.

Like Lebron taking his talents to South Beach to play alongside of Wade and Bosh, rappers in 2012-13 also seem to putting aside the beefs that marked the rap landscape in the 90s and early 00s to instead get together every chance they can to make supertracks. It's not long before we see another misfated attempt to recreate the rap supergroup like The Firm, and in some ways we already have with groups like OFWGKTA, Slaughter House, and Black Hippy popping up in recent years. A$AP's DWade moment comes on "1Train" off of his debut, where he brings along some of the hottest names from the last eighteen months to create rap's version of the Dunk Contest, with each rapper both introducing his sound to those who don't know while trying to prove that their mic is the biggest in the room. Check out the Spotify playlist below to get a taste of some of the established names and up-and-comers who dropped off verses for this megatrack (Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$, Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson & Big K.R.I.T.) in order of appearance.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Debruit-Afro Booty Musique

Sometimes when you're blogging, you put absurd pressures on yourself such as, I just posted the first new "Outkast" song in years, what could possibly follow up that firey fuego? The answer is "nothing" so I can either go back into blogging hibernation or drop the funkiest psychedelic bootyshaking jam I've heard in the last year; and that's exactly what I'll do.

"Afro Booty Musique" is a song that somehow sounds a lot longer than 5+ minutes. An interstellar journey between the planets shakewatyomammagaveya and FelaKuti, it juggles being just bizarre enough so that you are intrigued with funky enough so that you listen to it over and over again. Fusing together space-age sound effects with traditional drumming breakdowns, this song is probably like nothing you've ever heard before. On Twitter, the artist calls himself an "afro-beat surrealist" which is incredibly fitting and his creation of afrobeat surrealism is something I'm looking to hear more from, at least on days when I want to take spaceship journeys to one of West Africa's finest musical exports.

Click here to download 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Pink Matter-Frank Ocean feat. Outkast(?)

There can be no clearer sign that JamandaHalf has to spread its wings again than a new song featuring Outkast (or is it Andre 3000 + Big Boi?). Regardless, hearing the two on the same song again is undeniably a treat, especially when it's on one of best jams of 2012, Frank Ocean's "Pink Matter." Like seeing two old friends kick it after not seeing each other for a while, hearing Big Boi play off of Andre's verse is both comfortable and a little awkward, it sounds both familiar and distant. Both are representing themselves, not the mighty Outkast, but appearing on the same song makes them Outkast, right? With Big Boi having released a critically blasted but enjoyable album recently, and Dre sticking to Gillette commercials, the gulf separating the two seems to increasingly grow, a gulf which 3000 addressed on a cameo on TI's "Sorry." A theory that I've had all along is that Andre is no longer making music because of a lack of competition. He reminds us that he's the best rapper alive with a cameo here or there, but as far as new competition to himself or to Outkast as a group, there hasn't been any. However, with the emergence of Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, etc, we are finally seeing artists who have both the creativity and the skills to challenge both Dre and Big Boi, and Outkast, and this rise has also seen an uptick in the number of Dre features. Regardless, I can only pray to the music gods that this trend continues. The JamandaHalf bear finally got his spring sun to wake him up from his hibernation, this time he'll stick around for a while.