Daily Archives: May 2, 2013
The Wow and Vinny Cha$e shoot a visual for “Whittier Blvd” during their time at SXSW.
Previously: The Wow ft. Vinny Cha$e – Whittier Blvd (Remix)
To date, The Great Gatsby‘s Jay-Z executive-produced OST has given us many listens from glam principals delivering sumptuous/cinematic fare. Roll call: Originals from Florence + The Machine, Lana Del Rey, the xx, and an Amy Winehouse cover from accutely accented duo André 3000 & Beyoncé, which sounds like an xx song. Now you can hear the whole thing, with tracks from Jack White, Gotye, will.i.am, Fergie, Q-Tip, and senior in residence Bryan Ferry over at NPR. If you want it vinyl-style, White’s Third Man Records will have a pressing for you this summer.
Given the fact that the Flaming Lips have been a band now for more than thirty years, it’s hard to imagine a time without the presence of Wayne Coyne. As one of the most omnipresent and reliably chatty frontmen in rock music, Coyne is seemingly everywhere, all the time. Between the Virgin Mobile television commercials that seem to be stuck in heavy rotation, the current publicity juggernaut the band has undergone in support of their dark and excellent new album The Terror, or the Zaireeka vinyl reissue the band let loose for Record Store Day, it’s hard to not know what the Flaming Lips are up to at any given moment. Not that this is a bad thing. Still, such ubiquity has its drawbacks. The extreme prolific-ness of the Flaming Lips sometimes makes it hard to appreciate how great the band actually is (even as The Terror hits stores, the band is still rolling out videos from last year’s Heady Fwends collab collection), and the day-glo hamster-ball psychedelia of the band’s live show — while charmingly gimmicky — can often overshadow the real emotional complexity of the band’s music. These are concerns that might cause other bands to press pause, but not so with the Flaming Lips. In a year filled with petty feuds, major breakups (Coyne was reported to have split from longtime partner Michelle last year), and more projects that most bands undertake over the course of a decade, Coyne himself is remarkably nonplussed. His candor and general lack of preciousness about making music and what it means to be in a rock band continue to make him one of the most compelling figures in popular music … and why he’s been one of my favorite interview subjects for so many years.
Will Hagle is singing “One Day” in honor of Mac Daddy.
There is a Dizzee Rascal song called “H-Town” and it’s not about East London’s Hackney neighborhood. The hook consists of Dizzee repeatedly saying “I’m rolling round / H-Town / Texas man don’t hold me down.” It features Bun B and Trae and it was produced by A-Trak.
Last I remember, “Flushing MCs down the loo” was Dizzee’s hardest insult. Now he’s using lingo like “sitting in the slab with trill OG.” This isn’t the first time he’s collaborated with UGK (and before that seems like a remarkable feat, remember that Bun B will lend a verse to anyone), but it is the first time he sounds like he used to play quarterback at Dillon High. I imagine him in the studio with a styrofoam cup and a BBQ-stained t-shirt, getting called out by Trae for calling shoes “trainers.” The American Dream.
Although at first the list of collaborators seems strange, A-Trak’s role as producer is what saves this song. A-Trak’s career has essentially followed a path opposite to that of Dizzee Rascal— he started as a hip-hop turntablist and has since evolved into a rave DJ that happens to scratch occasionally. Dizzee broke stateside with his exquisitely British combination of electro and rap, and now he drops lines like “In the home of the brave / chilling with the OG / UGK.” Both excel in the respective genres of their homeland but admire genres from abroad. The fusion of these two lands them at a firm middle ground, creating a track suitable for the trillest of H-town clubs as well as the grimiest of East London. I want to find a reason to hate this song, but I can’t. Dizzee is too trill.
“H-Town” is scheduled to be included on Dizzee’s forthcoming LP The Fifth. If there’s not a Riff Raff feature somewhere on that track list, I won’t know what life means anymore.
LA indie disco quartet WALLA made waves last year with their single “Rising Tide,” which racked up over 100,000 plays on SoundCloud. Now they’re back with “No Time,” the first glimpse of their forthcoming Nature EP. This diverse ensemble – hailing from far flung locales including Korea, Brazil, El Salvador and Indonesia – has a sharp, vocal-driven sound that combines electronica and live instrumentation, in the style of artists like Cut Copy, Work Drugs, Panama and Mitzi. The production and arrangement perfectionism of these pop fusionists shines through in the track’s crisp drums, shimmering vocals and retro house synth lines. This aptly titled anthem – WALLA are racing to coax as much musical goodness out of the project as possible before their student visas start to expire – will appear on Nature, out June 4th.
STREAM: WALLA – “No Time”