Friday, July 22, 2011

So what you listening to....

Damn! I haven't done one of these in a long while.....

RAVE ON , BUDDY HOLLY – various artist
Let’s face it, tribute albums suck. They are anchored by one or two big names and ten to twelve bands you wish you had never heard of. Luckily the tribute album “Rave On Buddy Holly” is the exception to the rule. The album features a diverse line of performers putting their spins on classic Buddy Holly songs. There are classic rock legends like Paul McCartney and Lou Reed; punk rock icons like Patti Smith and John Doe; top 40 performers like Cee Lo Green and Kid Rock; Americana players like Justin Townes Earl and My Morning Jacket; and modern rock darlings like The Black Keys and Florence + The Machine. While they all put their spin on their songs, they all show the power and timelessness of Holly’s music.
Buddy Holly’s career was short but powerful. His death in a plane crash at 22 has passed into Rock n Roll legend. But the legacy of music he left in those few short years that he recorded has affected popular music sense that day. The Beatles Paul McCartney and John Lennon both credit Holly as a major influence. The punk rock movement used Holly as an example of the simple straight forward song writing that they wanted to move back to. Many a modern Americana and Country song can find their roots in Holly’s straight forward song style.
But as with any tribute album the individual artist put their own spin on the songs.
Paul McCartney puts a wild, almost rockabilly spin on “It’s So Easy”, while Kid Rock puts an almost Motown spin on “Well All Right”. Lou Reed drops a very punk rock version of “Peggy Sue” on the album, while Patti Smith produces a beautiful version of “Words of Love”. Justin Townes Earl and She & Him both produce very faithful but modern (maybe because they are very faithful) take on there respective songs.
Don’t get me wrong, there are clunkers on the album. But maybe that is Buddy Holly’s lesson to us. Too many “artist” nowadays have album with 2 or 3 singles and 10 songs to fill the space. Buddy Holly’s music treasured ever song for ever note on an album. Cause you never know when it might be your last one.


The mash up album is a bit of a cliché nowadays. The problem with clichés albums is that so few are done well. Too many are done with mixing top 40 hits together. While this might be fine for the crowd in the club, to be listened to outside of that environment, it takes a little more imagination.
And that is the beauty of this mash up. One group is a socio-political punk rock group from the late 1980s/early 1990s. The other is militant late 1990s New York Hip Hop. When you take two cult classic groups, that are deeply defended by their fans, and mix them together, you had better make it good. If you fail, one group of fans or the other will crucify you. Luckily, Cecil Otter and Swiss Andy mix the two with skill and respect.
As someone who has seen both Fugazi and Wu-Tang live, I can say that there is a balance between the two groups. While the lyrical content might lean to Wu-Tang, the backing tracks are clearly identifiable to Fugazi fans. Sense Fugazi has never lent itself to, well anything, its just nice to hear them brought back into the popular culture.

VARIOUS MIXTAPES from – Adam WarRock

The easiest way to describe Adam WarRock is to not describe him. But for those who have to have labels, Nerdcore might do. You don’t need to know comic books and Sci-Fi to like his music, but it will help.
He doesn’t use the geeky reference for the nothing. As any good Sci-Fi author he makes social commentary using the thinly valid reference of the Sci-Fi/ Fantasy genre. But he does it with the skill of any social conscience rapper that is producing today.
You can clearly hear the influence of Public Enemy and 2Pac in not just the lyrically style but the rhythm of his beats.
And given that most of his music is free, I hope that you will give him a chance to prove himself. Because, if you don’t, that says more about you than it does about this man’s skill



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