Unrescuable Schizo feature: Check out our FAVORITE 30 SONGS OF THE 2000S.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Art of Sampling

submitted by Deena

Call me postmodern, but I love to hear an artist use a clever sample of someone else's song within their own. Or maybe I just like to feel smart when I can pick out the original song being sampled. Either way, here are some of my favorite songs that sample other songs...

"Train in Vain" by The Clash in Garbage's "Stupid Girl"
I think it's great that the drum lick from this upbeat Clash song was able to work beautifully against the more brooding Garbage tune. It sounds so different without the poppy guitar riff from "Train in Vain."

"The Last Time" by The Rolling Stones in The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony"
From what I've read, The Verve's use of an unlicensed sample of an orchestral version of this Stones' song resulted in 100% of the "Bittersweet Symphony" royalties going to the Rolling Stones. Ouch!

"Super Freak" by Rick James in MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This"
From a song about a kinky chick to a song about how awesome MC Hammer is...either way, it made for a catchy, wildly popular song, and it kept the beat going for the Hammer Dance--what more could you want?

"Straight to Hell" by The Clash in M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes"
Pair the reggae/dub-style, chill guitars from the Clash song with a chorus that sounds strangely like Wreckx-n-Effect's "Rump Shaker" and somehow, you get a winning combination.

"Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" by Daft Punk in Kanye West's "Stronger"
One of my favorite rappers + one of my favorite Daft Punk songs = awesome. This is probably not one of my favorite Kanye songs, but I get excited when two very different genres can share the same space like this.

A favorite artist of mine whose music is largely made up of samples is Californian nerd-rapper MC Lars, who describes his sound as "post-punk laptop rap" (he tours with a laptop for a backup band and probably contstructs and deconstructs a lot of music on said laptop). I've heard him use everything from Iggy Pop to Brand New to Supergrass in his tunes.

Check out these two tracks, both from his The Laptop EP:

MC Lars - Hurricane Fresh (feat. "Rock You Like A Hurricane" by Scorpions)
MP3: MC Lars - iGeneration (feat. "American Hearts" by Piebald)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Lollapalooza downloads, Volume 2

I'm still working on upgrading my MP3 hosting so I can share more music... in the meantime enjoy these Lollapalooza MP3s courtesy of Sub Pop...

MP3: CSS - Alala (Cansei de Ser Sexy)
MP3: Foals - Balloons (Antidotes)
MP3: Rogue Wave - Every Moment (Out of the Shadow)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Garbage in the Studio; Shirley Solo Album Panned

submitted by Deena

The February issue of Maxim magazine announced that Garbage is back from "hiatus" and in the studio preparing their fifth full-length album. If this is true, it looks like they'll be taking a bit of a different direction with this endeavor.

In a July 2007 interview with Billboard magazine, drummer Butch Vig said:

"If we want to continue making records, we don't necessarily want to repeat ourselves.... I think we're interested in making something that's much more sort of primal and stripped down. More Neil Young 'Tonight's the Night' meets Leonard Cohen meets Mazzy Star--druggy, bummer music. Not necessarily druggy, but melancholy and bittersweet.

"It'll probably be commercial suicide, but the music business is so f*cked up now, maybe it'll be the most inaccessible record of our career and we'll have it be the biggest hit."


In other Garbage-related news, Shirley Manson revealed that her solo album release has been postponed indefinitely by her label, Warner Bros. Records.

The long-rumored Manson solo album has been connected with a number of big name co-collaborators--everyone from Jack White to Billy Corgan to Beck--though none of these names have been confirmed. But regardless of musicians' support, the project has reached an impasse.

In an April 14 interview with The Scotsman, she explains:

"I had a lot of material, but unfortunately I played it for my record label and they thought it was very 'noir', which I took as a huge compliment until I got home and realised they didn't mean it as a compliment at all. I think, maybe, they have a different idea of the kind of career I should have to the one that I want."

However, The Scotsman article seems to contradict the Maxim announcement: "She says she's done with Garbage, for the moment at least. 'I just got to the point where I couldn't sing Stupid Girl any more,' she says wryly. 'I'm far too smart for that.'"

I guess time will tell, folks.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Rating the 2008 summer music festivals

Not sure which summer music festival to throw your money at? Here's a rundown of the major festivals in chronological order, with completely biased opinions of which ones rule and which ones suck...

April 25-27, Indio, CA

At first, the headliners were laughable: Jack Johnson, Portishead, Kraftwerk, and Roger Waters performing Dark Side of the Moon. But then Prince came along and saved the day. The near-headliners (Raconteurs, the Verve, Death Cab for Cutie) are also less than impressive. But the middle- and lower-tier acts save this lineup, with names like Architecture in Helsinki, Justice, Kate Nash, Vampire Weekend, St. Vincent, DeVotchKa, Simian Mobile Disco, and Jens Lekman.

Headliners: D
Rest of lineup: A
$ value: B
Overall: C+

The Bamboozle
May 3-4, East Rutherford, NJ

Bamboozle is like a mega-sized Warped Tour, with emo and punk bands out the wazoo and occasional hip hop acts thrown in for variety. Among the notables at this year's event are Snoop Dogg, Jimmy Eat World, Panic at the Disco, Gym Class Heroes, Paramore, Cobra Starship, and Anti-Flag. For those who appreciate this kind of music, Bamboozle could be one of the best bargains of the summer.

Headliners: B
Rest of lineup: B-
$ value: A-
Overall: B-

Sasquatch Music Festival
May 24-26, George, WA

Because of its location, Sasquatch is the most inconvenient festival for most of the country to attend, but they continue to attract top-notch talent like R.E.M., the Flaming Lips, and The Cure, as well as quality mid-tier acts like The National, Tegan & Sara, Ghostland Observatory, M.I.A, and the Mars Volta. The bottom of the lineup is mostly filler, however.

Headliners: B-
Rest of lineup: C-
$ value: C+
Overall: C

June 5-8, Lawrence, KS

Pissed that Bonnaroo has gone mainstream? Go to Wakarusa, which is more of a pure hippie/jam band fest. The lineup appears weaker than in recent years, but you can't go wrong with the Flaming Lips headlining. Other highlights include Emmylou Harris, Ozomatli, Bettye Lavette, Mates of State, and - get this - a re-formed Arrested Development. Four-day passes go for only $144.

Headliners: C-
Rest of lineup: C-
$ value: B
Overall: C

June 12-15, Manchester, TN

Rock-solid headliners Metallica, Pearl Jam and Kanye West (let's ignore Jack Johnson) make this the summer's best festival. Chris Rock is also on the bill, set to make history by performing for one of the largest crowds ever to hear a stand-up set. Then there's Sigur Ros, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, !!!, Gogol Bordello, Broken Social Scene, MGMT, Battles, and many others.

Headliners: A
Rest of lineup: B+
$ value: B
Overall: A

Rothbury Festival
July 3-6, Rothbury, MI

This festival is positioning itself as a Bonnaroo alternative, in a cooler location: the forests of western Michigan. They have a nice mix of jam bands and mainstream pop acts - Dave Matthews Band, Snoop Dogg, the Dresden Dolls, Of Montreal, Modest Mouse, Busdriver. But tickets are too pricey for my taste - $244 for a 3-day pass.

Headliners: B-
Rest of lineup: B-
$ value: D
Overall: C-

Pitchfork Music Festival
July 18-20, Chicago

The hipsters may disagree, but the acclaimed indie festival doesn't have as strong a lineup as usual, with several acts that aren't anything special, and others that are already booked for other festivals (!!!, Animal Collective, Vampire Weekend). They did score a big coup by nabbing Public Enemy, who will perform It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back in its entirety. But no matter how mediocre the lineup, with a three-day pass setting you back just $65 (or single-day tickets for the bargain basement price of $25), Pitchfork will always be a great deal.

Headliners: D+
Rest of lineup: D+
$ value: A+
Overall: B-

Mile High Music Festival
July 19-20, Commerce City, CO

This one is similar to Rothbury, with headliners Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. Also noteworthy are the Black Crowes, Steve Winwood, Spoon, and the Roots. The $150 price tag for a 2-day pass is pretty average.

Headliners: B-
Rest of lineup: D
$ value: C-
Overall: D+

August 1-3, Chicago

This might be the greatest batch of headliners in recent American music festival history. A reunited Rage Against the Machine(!), plus Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Kanye West, and Wilco? Unbelievable. Unfortunately, the lineup is top-heavy. There are few decent mid-size acts here. I could also point out that many of these acts peaked at least two years ago (Gnarls Barkley, Girl Talk, Bloc Party, Wilco), but that would be nitpicking.

Headliners: A+
Rest of lineup: C
$ value: A
Overall: A-

All Points West
August 8-10, Jersey City, NJ

While other festivals feature more than 100 acts, APW inexplicably decided to book only 13 bands per day, while at the same time charging more than Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo. Most festivals work out to less than $2 per band, but the cost of APW works out to about $7 per band. There is no justification for this. There are a handful of good artists here - the New Pornographers, CSS, the Go! Team, Nicole Atkins, Animal Collective - and two nights of Radiohead is a great treat, but this festival is comically overpriced.

Headliners: B
Rest of lineup: D
$ value: F
Overall: D-

Virgin Mobile Festival
August 9-10, Baltimore

Two unique names stand out amongst the headliners: Foo Fighters and Stone Temple Pilots. I've never been an STP fan, but I give Virgin credit for booking an act that isn't playing all the other festivals. Kanye, Jack Johnson, and Nine Inch Nails will be here as well. The recent addition of Bob Dylan was a nice coup.

Headliners: B
Rest of lineup: C
$ value: D+
Overall: C-

Outside Lands Festival
August 22-24, San Francisco

I don't think there's a single act here that isn't already playing 5 other festivals. Radiohead, Jack Johnson, Tom Petty, Wilco, Beck, Rodrigo y Gabriela, etc. That doesn't mean it's a subpar lineup; just that they played it safe and were completely unoriginal when putting it together.

Headliners: B
Rest of lineup: D+
$ value: C-
Overall: C

Austin City Limits Festival
September 26-28, Austin, TX

Foo Fighters, Beck, and Robert Plant & Alison Krauss would be terrific secondary acts. But as headliners, they're weak. That said, this is one of the most consistent lineups of the summer - every act is quality. Band of Horses, Conor Oberst, and Okkervil River are particularly nice to see on the schedule.

Headliners: D
Rest of lineup: B+
$ value: A-
Overall: B

My personal 2008 rankings, from best to worst...
1. Bonnaroo
2. Lollapalooza
3. Austin City Limits
4. Pitchfork Music Festival
5. Bamboozle
6. Coachella
7. Sasquatch
8. Outside Lands
9. Wakarusa
10. Rothbury Festival
11. Virgin Mobile Festival
12. Mile High Music Festival
13. All Points West

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Rickrolling Good Time

submitted by Deena

Apparently this phenomenon has been around for about a year, but I've only just been exposed to it in the past few weeks. Just in case I'm not the last to know...

British pop/soul singer Rick Astley and his 1987 single, "Never Gonna Give You Up," have been the subject of a big fat internet prank now known as "Rickrolling."

It's a simple bait and switch: a person provides a link they claim is relevant to the topic at hand, but the link actually takes the user to the Astley video for "Never Gonna Give You Up." The URL, or in some cases the video preview thumbnail, is often disguised so the user can't determine the true source of the link without clicking (and, of course, satisfying their curiosity).

As of this month, approximately 18 million people have been Rickrolled, according to SurveyUSA. In fact, this April Fool's Day, all the videos on the front page of YouTube were Rickrolls.

Rickrolling can also mean playing the song loudly in public in order to be disruptive, which I just experienced this weekend after being subjected to it three times in a row on a jukebox. No one is safe--12,000 baseball fans got rickrolled last Saturday during the Reds-Pirates game at PNC Park when four fans performed a cover of "Never Gonna Give You Up" in a team-sponsored American Idol competition, which was shown on the Jumbotron between innings.

This is totally the best thing to happen to Rick Astley since he was nominated for Best New Artist at the 1989 Grammies. A whole new generation are now singing his song. Even Astley's former record company, RCA Records, is planning to release a Greatest Hits album, thanks in part to the Rickroll craze.

So go spread the Rickroll love! Here's a good one--this video of Beaker was originally tagged as rare Muppet Show bloopers on fark.com, but well...watch and learn.

YouTube: The Beaker Rickroll

Monday, April 14, 2008

I assess the essence of the mess


April 13, 2008
Mr. Small's Theatre, Pittsburgh

I recently gave Mike Doughty's Golden Delicious a mediocre review, but I can't stay mad at the guy. Onstage, the former Soul Coughing frontman just knows how to get it done.

Last night, Doughty's enthusiasm seemed a bit low, but he still delivered a solid performance. He avoided the trap of playing too many songs from his most recent album, offering a near-perfect mix of older tunes, new stuff from Golden Delicious, and Soul Coughing classics. "Fort Hood" and "I Just Want the Girl in the Blue Dress to Keep on Dancing" both sounded great. The only new song that misfired was "Navigating By the Stars at Night." I've found that song boring and repetitive from the moment I first heard it, and tonight was no different.

Doughty didn't seem to be in the best of spirits, stopping several times to ask fans for requests and then playing something else instead, with no explanation - though he did get a kick out of someone requesting "One Night in Bangkok." His band was focused and competent, serving up new arrangements of Soul Coughing favorites "Circles" and "St. Louise is Listening."

MP3: Mike Doughty - I Just Want the Girl in the Blue Dress to Keep on Dancing (live 4-13-08)

Soft Serve
Busting up a Starbucks
I Just Want the Girl in the Blue Dress to Keep on Dancing
St. Louise is Listening
Tremendous Brunettes
Fort Hood
Navigating By the Stars at Night
Grey Ghost
I Hear the Bells
More Bacon Than the Pan Can Handle
Unsingable Name
Put it Down
The Gambler
27 Jennifers
Looking at the World From the Bottom of a Well




Sunday, April 13, 2008

They were showing us on both screens

CONCERT REVIEW: New Pornographers & Okkervil River

April 12, 2008
Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead, Pittsburgh

Seeing the New Pornographers with Neko Case makes me wonder how on earth this band can ever go on tour without her. She is irreplaceable. Neko's wonderful voice was the star of the show as the New Porns made their first visit to Pittsburgh in years.

"These are the Fables" was an early highlight, standing out due to Neko's vocal delivery and the fact it was the only ballad played during the first dozen songs. "Challengers" and "Stacked Crooked" showcased beautiful harmonies between Case, singer Carl Newman, and keyboardist Kathryn Calder.

Then it was banter time.

"I'm not pregnant; I just like this shirt," said Case of her loose-fitting attire, causing Newman to fear tabloid rumors. "Neko Case pregnant - tomorrow's headline on pitchforkmedia.com," he joked. "Who's the father? Sufjan?"

Neko's star presence outshined Newman, who was in fine form in his own right, impressively leading the band through "Use It," a sped-up, bass-centric "Twin Cinema," and an ass-kicking cover of ELO's "Don't Bring Me Down."

The show closer was "The Bleeding Heart Show," which happens to be my favorite song of the past few years by any artist. The soaring climax with Neko singing atop the "hey la, hey la" background melody gets me every time. I've waited a long time to see the New Pornographers live, and it was worth it.


Openers Okkervil River were equally good. The Austin indie rockers sounded nearly flawless on "Unless It's Kicks" and "Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe," the latter of which really took off when frontman Will Sheff went into his upper register. And they managed to talk the audience into participating in a sing-along on the emotional closer, "Westfall."


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Vanderslice plays in the Andy Warhol Museum gallery


Offbeat and engaging. That’s John Vanderslice. Anyone who counts a pillowcase as one of his featured items of merch has to be cool. But I didn't truly appreciate him until I saw his show at the Andy Warhol Museum on Friday night.

After a superb 60-minute set inside the concert room at the Warhol, Vanderslice migrated the 200-person crowd into the gallery lobby, something I don't ever remember an artist doing.

In the gallery, John gave a 5-song performance that was literally unplugged - no mics or speakers. He sang and played guitar while his bandmates played a single drum and a violin. Playing in the gallery was a genius move - if you're going to play at the Warhol, might as well take advantage of your surroundings, right? "Numbered Lithograph" sounded particularly compelling in this environment.

Vanderslice proved more personable than I expected, sharing random commentary about his current obsession with orange Tic Tacs and how this was only the second city they've visited on the entire tour that had warm weather. "We were fantasizing about playing the show in cargo shorts," he said, before immediately doubting himself. "Was that the fantasy? That’s kind of a limited fantasy..."

"Kookaburra" and "White Dove" were additional highlights.


MP3: John Vanderslice - Me and My 424 (from Life and Death of an American Fourtracker)
MP3: John Vanderslice - Bill Gates Must Die (from Mass Suicide Occult Figurines)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Operator, get me the president of the world


CONCERT REVIEW: Tokyo Police Club
April 10, 2008
Mr. Small's Theatre, Pittsburgh

Those peppy Canadian kids, Tokyo Police Club, were in town last night to promote their upcoming Saddle Creek release Elephant Shell, and it was obvious they've grown as a band since I saw them last year at Lollapalooza. The songs sounded much truer to the studio versions, the vocal chants were spot-on, the inexperience didn't show as much.

The band started off with mostly new material, and while the new tracks don't bombard the listener with the same intensity as older favorites like "Cut Cut Paste" and "Nature of the Experiment," they were still fairly well-received.

Midway through the show, singer/bassist Dave Monks announced, "The next song is a cover. It's the only cover we know." I knew what was coming - the Rentals' "Friends of P." The idea of covering that track is brilliant, but I've heard the mp3 that's been floating around of TPC's version, and I'm thoroughly unimpressed. Last night, though, they nailed it. Matt Sharp would've been proud.

This was destined to be a short show, given that Tokyo Police Club's songs rarely exceed 3 minutes. TPC walked offstage following the shortest encore in history (just 2 minutes, a spirited version of "Cheer it On"), bringing its total length of performance to only 58 minutes. That's all they needed to win over the crowd on this night.





Thursday, April 10, 2008

Babyface turns 50

Posted by Scott

I couldn't believe it, either. Venerable R&B songwriter/producer Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds is a half-century old. I personally have a soft spot for his '80s pop/R&B work like After 7's "Can't Stop" and Pebbles' "Girlfriend," but neither makes my list of...


8 The Whispers - Rock Steady, 1987
I was going to give this last spot to Eric Clapton's Change the World, because he's a more legendary act, but screw that - Rock Steady is a better song. It's totally '80s, so its sound is quite dated, but just try to listen without singing along.

7 Fall Out Boy - Thks Fr Th Mmrs, 2007
Proving that he hasn't completely disappeared, Face pops up on FOB's latest record. He adds devious-sounding strings to Fall Out Boy's pop sound and helps create a top ten hit.

6 Babyface - Whip Appeal, 1989
In terms of his own solo work, Babyface never topped his 1989 album Tender Lover. Whip Appeal has stood the test of time better than the rest.

5 TLC - Red Light Special, 1994
Babyface gives the trio their sexiest song ever.

4 Madonna - Take a Bow, 1994
Madonna collaborates with Babyface and records the longest-running #1 song of her career.

3 Waiting to Exhale soundtrack, 1995
Face wrote and produced nearly all 16 tracks on this soundtrack, marking his commercial peak.

Video: Brandy, Mary J. Blige, Whitney Houston, CeCe Winans - Exhale Medley (1997 Grammys)

2 Bobby Brown - Roni, 1988
Yes, I own Bobby Brown's 1988 CD Don't Be Cruel, and this is the song I've never been able to stop listening to. The vocal delivery, the cute lyrics about "the sweetest little girl in the whole wide world," the passionate bridge ("once you've had a Roni you will never give her up!"), it all adds up to one of my favorite Babyface-penned tracks.

1 Boyz II Men - Water Runs Dry, 1995
Babyface's most famous collaboration with Boyz II Men is End of the Road, the 1992 song that broke Elvis Presley's 36-year old record for most weeks at #1 on the Billboard chart. But that song is a bit cheesy. Allow me to announce that 10 million people were wrong, and instead declare Water Runs Dry, an acoustic guitar-driven ballad, to be the superior track. Face's production really shines - the Boyz' voices never blended more beautifully than they did here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Music and Sporting Events, Part 2

submitted by Deena

Does Muse have a contract with all the Pittsburgh sports franchises? I am beginning to wonder.

Monday was the Pirates' home opener, and who else was playing during one of their pre-game video montages? Muse, of course. It's not like they wrote the next "We Are the Champions" or anything, but I gotta admit, the music was pretty effective. Still, can't Pittsburgh sports teams get a little creative when they choose their music?

Update: There is still an animated opening sequence with cannons and ships and the like, but no more Carmina--just some other dramatic choral music with orchestra.

Memorable songs from the home opener (sadly, there was no Gary Glitter to speak of):

R.E.M. - "Supernatural Superserious" (I am really enjoying this new track)

U2 - "Vertigo" (one, two, three, fifteen!)

Vengaboys - "We Like To Party" (oh so bad it's good...)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Lollapalooza downloads, Volume 1

Someone remind me why I'm going to the All Points West Festival again? Lollapalooza announced its 2008 lineup yesterday, and 3 of the 4 bands I'm going to APW to see (Radiohead, CSS, and The Go! Team) are playing Lolla as well. The fourth, New Pornographers, is coming to Pittsburgh next week and I'll be there.

Anyone want to buy an APW ticket?

After the Austin City Limits announces its lineup later this month, I'll be back with a massive post critiquing all the summer music festivals. For now, here's some music from a few bands that will be playing Lollapalooza 2008.

MP3: Black Lips - O Katrina! (from Good Bad Not Evil)
MP3: Girl Talk - LC and Lo (from Bone Hard Zaggin')
MP3: Cat Power - Metal Heart (from Jukebox)
MP3: Dr. Dog - Worst Trip (from We All Belong)
MP3: Gogol Bordello - Troubled Friends (live)

(Edit: I'm working to resolve the bandwidth issues...)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Music and Sporting Events

submitted by Deena

I am often amazed by the music I hear at sporting events. A few weeks ago I went to my first Penguins game of the season and remember being pleasantly surprised at the tune selection--The White Stripes' "Icky Thump" being among them. See, even indie rock can get you pumped for the big game!

My biggest thrill was watching the little video montage that's played before the Pens come on the ice--a neat little segment that zooms around pages of a comic book of the players, giving them names like "Mr. Fantastic," "Juggernaut," and "Iceman." And it's all set to Muse's "Knights of Cydonia" on their megawatt sound system. It was actually quite exhilarating. But as I rocked out, I felt myself wondering, "Who else even appreciates this or knows who Muse is?"

I wish I could remember some of the other songs I heard that day. I do remember watching my mom and cousin bob their heads to a lot of songs I hear on regular rotation on the radio station I listen to--songs they'd probably never heard before--which I thought was cute.

At any rate, baseball season is now upon us, and I'm excited to revisit PNC Park and hear what their sound system will have to offer. Of course it will have to include their video where the Pirates and their opposing team are represented by ships, and the Pirates' cannon blows the other team's vessel away to the overly-dramatic, overly-overused "O Fortuna" from Orff's Carmina Burana. This must always be part of the game.

A couple seasons ago I heard some pop-punk/post-hardcore type band being played, obviously because the song contained the lyrics "step up to the plate." A google search and a download later I had Hidden In Plain View's "Life in Dreaming," which was a halfway decent album for their genre. So you never know what you may come across, as I've learned.

Plus, I always enjoyed hearing what songs get played before each player goes up to bat--is this truly the athlete's pick or some clever marketing ploy to position a player in a certain light? The world may never know...

YouTube: Muse, "Knights of Cydonia"
If you haven't already seen this, it's a pretty kickass video.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The best of blogworld, April 2

Posted by Scott

While I put the finishing touches on some lengthy upcoming posts, a few highlights from elsewhere in the blogosphere...

> Captain Obvious delivers another quality covers mixtape. This one features Stereophonics covering Sinead O'Connor and Wilco doing Big Star.

> Beth at A Cup of Coffey, a massive R.E.M. fan, posted clips of the band performing on the Today Show and her review of the new album. I haven't heard the record yet, but it's getting crazy-good press so I gotta get around to that soon...

>The Yellow Stereo is always a great place to find mp3s from the latest releases. The latest Daily Graboid features the Black Keys, Moby, and Astrid Williamson.

>Under the Rotunda posted a cool interview with Dan Snaith of Caribou. Forget transcribing - he just uploaded the audio of the chat. I have great respect for those who do on-air interviews, since my artist interviews are sometimes not that smooth (thank goodness for editing!)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I got sumpin brand new fo dat ass (The Coolio appreciation post)

Posted by Scott

Coolio performed the other day at Diesel, a rock club on the South Side of Pittsburgh. The Gangsta's Paradise era is back! Sadly, I did not get to attend.

Coolio is a joke now, but he ruled the late '90s. I've always loved rappers who have a sense of humor. It's rare to see in that genre (I'm a fan of Ludacris and Snoop Dogg for the same reason.) My favorite Coolio moment is the video for "1,2,3,4," when he rides the tricycle. Either that, or his unintentionally hilarious Grammy acceptance speech, when he thanked "my fiance Josephha, and my 7 kids."

Of course, "Gangsta's Paradise" is Coolio's signature song. It was insanely overplayed at the time, but it's one of the most important rap songs of the past 20 years. And I always liked "C U When U Get There," although it strikes me as schmaltzy now.

Fun fact: Coolio famously got mad at Weird Al for parodying him, but they've buried the hatchet.

I wrap up this meandering post with two videos: "1,2,3,4," and a bizarre performance of "Gangsta's Paradise" from 1995 with Simply Red. For reals?

YouTube: Coolio - "1,2,3,4 (Sumpin' New)"

YouTube: Coolio & Simply Red - "Gangsta's Paradise"