Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fela Kuti & Afrika 70 - Zombie (1977)

A scorching summer is coming, so some Fela Kuti is in order. Check out 'Zombie', 12 minutes of frantic afro-beat energy that triggered a brutal attack by the Nigerian army (ordered by the president, Kuti's ex-classmate in school) who killed Kuti's mother, murdered his friends, and destroyed the Kalakuta Republic - Kuti's anti-state commune. All in all, a lesson in the power of music.

"The album was a scathing attack on Nigerian soldiers using the zombie metaphor to describe the methods of the Nigerian military. The album was a smash hit with the people and infuriated the government, setting off a vicious attack against the Kalakuta Republic (a commune that Fela had established in Nigeria), during which one thousand soldiers attacked the commune. Kuti was severely beaten, and his elderly mother was thrown from a window, causing fatal injuries. Soon after Kuti's mother had been injured, the commanding officer defecated on the elderly woman's face. The Kalakuta Republic was burned, and Kuti's studio, instruments, and master tapes were destroyed. Kuti claimed that he would have been killed if it were not for the intervention of a commanding officer as he was being beaten. Kuti's response to the attack was to deliver his mother's coffin to the main army barrack in Lagos and write two songs, "Coffin for Head of State" and "Unknown Soldier", referencing the official inquiry that claimed the commune had been destroyed by an unknown soldier."

Here's the whole album.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

OK Captain - "Newport" (2010)

Pop-punk-cheesy-nostalgic-anthemic-goodness. The lyrics are made all the better if you know the author, Chris, who will be an 18 year old New England beach boy for eternity. If you're a twenty-something and this doesn't make you yearn for days of no responsibility, sneaking out to drink on the beach, and eating bad Chinese food (that's probably just me) then I feel sorry for you. If it's too cheesy...well I will admit it has some cheese...but hopefully you'll join me as "I stand still as the sun comes up and watch my youth wash away."

Download for Free:

p.s. this band no longer exists, so that might give them some credibility or something.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Richard Swift & Damien Jurado - Other People’s Songs Vol. 1 (2010)

lo-fi chills with damien jurado (and richard swift), whose "denton, tx." is still one of my favorite tunes; all recorded in 1 weekend.

if you're interested in recording methods etc, read this.

“Other People’s Songs Vol. 1” is a collection of covers recorded on the weekend of August 21-22, 2010 (with the aid of a four-track cassette recorder and a Coles-4038 ribbon microphone). It is available to you (the world) via the inter-webs for FREE. These recordings came about spontaneously, and we wanted to share them in the same manner. Look for another one around Winter time. “Thanks, Brochacho” - DJ/RS


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dark Dark Dark - Wild Go (2010)

Huge love to Flo for putting me onto these guys. She's great.

Dark Dark Dark are one of those bands which strike you instantly with the effortlessness of their musical craftsmanship.

Take some solid folk stock, infuse it with Balkan and Appalachian flavours and pinches of pop, Americana, jazz. Serve up with heart-achingly beautiful vocals from Nona Marie Invie.

You've just made a fucking WINNING stew of awesome DARK DARK DARK. Watch these, then agree with me.

And here's Nona on her lonesome:

If you're in the UK then you'd be a fool* not to catch them playing at Bush Hall in April.

*A damn fool I tell you.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cemetery - Demo CS (2011)

Great debut release from Chicago goth/punk four-piece Cemetery. The demo starts off with high energy/dreary songs, and ends with a gothy, dark ambient track. Everything in between is great, filled with brooding atmosphere and cool riffs. I'm new to deathrock and the like, so if you don't think this will be your thing, try it anyhow, you might be surprised. Here's a taste:

Snag It.

Best heard with lit skull candles, and an elaborate cross. Broody listening.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Dubious Caesar - Guide to the Night (2012)

Here's a beautiful new track from Dubious Caesar called 'Guide to the Night'. Hot off the press n that... I've been waiting for this to get recorded for ages.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Skinnyman - Council Estate of Mind (2004)

Seminal UK hip hop from Skinnyman. This LP was put out in 2004 by the now sadly defunct Low Life records who gave a platform to a host of incredible acts. The roster included the likes of Braintax (co-founder of the label), Lewis Parker, Jehst, Task Force, Yungun, Klashnekoff, Rodney P... god there were loads of sick artists.

Below is the title track off this album below which is an amazing tune. His lyricism is socially conscious, speaking of marginalised communities and lives lived on the edges. Eight years down the line and in the current economic climate it's even more relevant.

P.S. I've also just read that Skinnyman's currently serving a 16month jail sentence for assaulting a woman he used to have a relationship with. I don't know the details, but that's just horrible. I guess that's just another reminder of why we shouldn't elevate people who speak for great ideals. We're all humans with failings.