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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Gang Starr's 1991 Classic LP Step In The Arena featuring "Just To Get A Rep"

Posted by Billyjam, August 5, 2014 01:05pm | Post a Comment

Gang Starr "Just To Get A Rep" from the album Step Into The Arena (1991)

"Mad brothers know his name" are just a few of the well known (and oft quoted or sampled) Gang Starr lyrics rapped by the late great emcee of the legendary hip-hop duo GURU (Gifts Unlimited Rhymes Universal) over DJ Premier's killer track on "Just To Get A Rep." The song was released in February 1991 by Chrysalis/EMI as the lead single (with "Who's Gonna Take The Weight" on the filp side of the 12" single) from the duo's hip-hop classic full-length Step In The Arena that was released a few weeks earlier. Like that album the single "Just To Get A Rep" remains a hip-hop classic. And now 23 full years later it is even clearer what an important role this particular song plays in its part of hip-hop's legacy, with each phrase and rhyme from the song known by heart by every true hip-hop fan and DJs/producers who like to take snippets of it and throw it in the mix. See full song lyrics listed below along with the videos for the other Step In The Arena album tracks as the mellow, chilled out "Lovesick" whose numerous samples include Digital Underground's best known song "The Humpty Dance," the heavily politicized "Who's Gonna Take The Weight?" (my personal fave album track with "Check The Technique" in close second), and the title track itself from the album Step In The Arena that while it was technically the group's second album it was their main introduction to most hip-hop audiences at the time. 

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Weekly Wednesday Steal: tUnE-yArDs' 'Nikki Nack' on Red Vinyl for $10

Posted by Billy Gil, August 5, 2014 11:23am | Post a Comment

tune-yards nikki nack red vinylAmoeba's new Weekly Wednesday Steal continues this Wednesday Aug. 6 with tUnE-yArDs' acclaimed new album, Nikki Nack, for only $10 (normally $19.98) on Amoeba.com.

The Wednesday Steal sees some awesome piece go on sale for only $10 on Amoeba.com every Wednesday (while supplies last). As always, there’s free shipping on all music and movies you buy on Amoeba.com throughout the United States. The offer is only online, not in stores.

On Nikki Nack, tUnE-yArDs’ Merrill Garbus take her highwire vocals and playful experimentation to more palatable pop songs. Check out the playground chants of "Water Fountain" below:

Can Reissues Headed Our Way Starting in September

Posted by Billy Gil, August 5, 2014 10:44am | Post a Comment

can bandCan you believe it??

Krautrock titans Can will reissue 14 catalog albums on vinyl for the first time in more than a decade, starting with the classics Ege Bamyasi, Tago Mago, Monster Movie and Soundtracks. Those are out Sept. 2 on Mute.

Oct. 7 brings Future Days, Soon Over Babaluma, Landed, Flow Motion amd Saw Delight (the latter of which includes a CD).

Oct. 21 we have Can, Delay, Out Of Reach (including the album for the first time on CD), Rite Time and Unlimited Edition.

On Nov. 4 the band will release The Lost Tapes as five individual LPs. Previously it was only available as a box set.

Can was formed in 1968, releasing their debut album, Monster Movie, in 1969 with Malcolm Mooney on vocals, first introducing their sense of experimentation and layering that would go on to be perfected on the band’s masterpieces, 1971’s Tago Mago and 1972’s Ege Bamyasi. Soundtracks, released in 1970, marked the beginning of Damo Suzuki as the band’s vocalist and compiled tracks written for various films.

Can’s influence would of course go on to be felt immediately, creating the so-called “krautrock” sound alongside loosely associated German bands of the late '60s and early '70s like Neu! and Faust with driving 4/4 beats and layers of sound built around simple structures, as well as later, influencing acts such as Radiohead, Stereolab, Portishead, New Order, Kanye West and countless others. If it’s your first time to the band, these Sept. 2 releases are a good place to start.

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Album Picks: Spoon, Roses, Spider Bags, Bear in Heaven

Posted by Billy Gil, August 5, 2014 09:00am | Post a Comment

Spoon - They Want My Soul (LP, CD)

spoon they want my soul lpProducer David Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev) ends up being the perfect collaborator for Austin’s Spoon on their excellent eighth album. His unmistakable stamp helps the drums explode on rock stomper “Rent I Pay”; he augments the band’s lean indie funk-rock sound with harps and synths on the lovely “Inside Out”; and “Do You’s” loopy spaceiness helps make it the best Britpop song that never was, like late-era Blur on a country kick. Of course, none of the album’s majesty would be possible without the band itself, who co-produce (along with early producer Joe Chiccarelli) and write some of their catchiest tunes to date, and that’s saying something, given that this is the band responsible for earworms like “The Way We Get By.” The band stretches itself to the limits here without straying too far from its core appeal, as songs like the slinky, dark “Outlier” sound unlike anything in the band’s catalog but (pardon the pun) don’t stick out in a bad way. The melodies and arrangements are ace throughout, and frontman Britt Daniel becomes more versatile, engaging in a kind of beatnik singspeak on “Let Me Be Mine” while still unleashing those great, sandpapered pipes to their fullest potential on the chorus of “Do You.” It adds up to one of the best-ever releases from one of the solidest bands in indie rock, a total triumph and utterly welcome return. Spoon will be playing live at Amoeba Hollywood Wednesday Aug. 6 at 6 p.m.!

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5 Under-the-Radar Albums to Check Out in August

Posted by Billy Gil, August 4, 2014 05:53pm | Post a Comment

5 Under-the-Radar albums

We’ve told you about the heavy hitters to check out in late summer, but there are always exciting releases bubbling just beneath the surface that are worth your attention as well. Here are five to look out for:

Twin PeaksWild Onion

twin peaks wild onion lpOut Aug. 5

Not that “Twin Peaks.” This one’s a kickass power-pop band from Chicago whose sophomore LP is full of smart, lean songs with a lot of heart. One taste of a song like the two-minute “Flavor” and you might be hooked for life.

 

David Kilgour & The Heavy Eights - End Times Undone

david kilgour heavy eights lpOut Aug. 5

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