Remixes Are the New Black

Posted by Rachael McGovern, February 29, 2012 08:02pm | Post a Comment

We've been getting so many great remixes offered as free downloads on lately. It makes sense from a business standpoint: remixes raise awareness of an artist and their music through something generally unavailable on the album, while simultaneously helping to further interest in the studio versions. (This is my totally unscientific, un-researched hypothesis.)

One of the things I like about remixes is that they can bring new life into a track, make you hear it in an entirely different way. Remixes, like anything else, run the gamut and with the omnipresence of the remix these days there is a good chance of running into some crap ones too. But when they're good, they can be delicious. In fact, over the last few years I've come across a few remixes that I now prefer over their original tracks.
2 Hearts and Chemicals remixes
I'm in love with a new remix from LA/NYC band 

2 Hearts and Chemicals. Their "Coming Home" track was remixed by Miadis, a Dallas remix artist. I love what he did with the song, creating space, manipulating the vocals, and playing with the beats. The song has a different flow now, dipping and climbing like a sine wave. Download "Coming Home (Miadis Remix)."

Active Child Johnny Belinda RemixAnother example of a new remix I prefer over the original is a White Arrows remix of Active Child's "Johnny Belinda." The original track, from You Are All I See (Vagrant, 2011), has a completely different tempo and incorporates the faint stirrings of a choir of monks throughout. The remix maintains Pat Grossi's vocals, but alters the other elements completely. Download "Johnny Belinda (White Arrows Remix)."

out this week 9/22 & 9/29...hope sandoval...madonna...where the wild things are...big pink...noisettes...

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 1, 2009 04:21pm | Post a Comment

It is sometimes easy for me to get excited about a movie, but there haven't really been a lot of movies to get excited about the last couple of months-- and finally Where the Wild Things Are is right around the corner! I have been extremely excited about this movie ever since I first heard about it, from the first time I saw a poster for it online, and then the first time I saw a teaser trailer. I finally saw a more substantial trailer last week before the movie 9. I didn't think I could get more excited, but I did! And I know I am not alone. Millions of us grew up with this story. It was a pretty simple picture book. Hardly any words at all in the "story." It was mostly just the amazing drawings that captured our imagination and forever made us fall in love with this story. I have probably not looked at the book in at least 10 years or so. I remember looking through the book at a a bookstore a while ago, and at the time I don't think I had seen the book since I owned it as a kid, but somehow the memories were always still there. The feelings I had when I first experienced the story never really went away. That was the power of this story. I remember even being excited about the Where The Wild Things Are themed restaurant that opened up in the Metreon in San Francisco. It closed years ago but maybe they will bring it back now. The Where the Wild Things Are book first came out in 1963. It was written by the brilliant Maurice Sendak. I don't think he ever could have imagined the book would have had such a profound affect on generation after generation. I think the book and story will get an even larger following after the release of this movie, although I have yet to meet anyone who didn't at least read this book when they were young. The story is simple enough. A kid, Max, is banished to his room for bad behavior. He then enters a magical world of big furry monsters, all in his imagination, of course. Similar stories had been told before and they would continue to be reimagined, but something about the drawings really brought me into the story. It was a magical little story that all children could relate to. Max  of course gets lonely and ends up returning to his normal life. But we all had moments like that when we wanted to escape from our families into a magical world of make believe. 

The book was made into an animated short in 1973. An updated version was made in 1988 with new music and narration. Spike Jonze has created the new live action film. Maurice Sendak had been trying to get this film made since the early 90s. Sendak fell in love with Being John Malkovich and then decided he wanted Spike Jonze to direct. It makes sense. So Spike has been working on it for almost 10 years. It has been a long time coming and I am glad the time has finally arrived. I am already in love with the film from the trailer. I am sure that I am not the only one that shed a tear during the trailer. I think it will impress those of us that grew up with the story. And I hope it makes a whole new generation fall in love with the story, although I imagine that parents from my where the wild things are soundtrackgeneration are now raising their kids with the same stories they grew up with -- I know that I would -- so I imagine this book is already in the collections of the young ones of today. The new movie doesn't come out till October 16th. However, the soundtrack comes out this week.

Sometimes I like to wait until after I see the  movie to listen to a soundtrack, but in this case there is no way that I could wait. I can't really think of anyone better than Karen O to do this soundtrack. We of course know and love Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. This is somewhat of a departure for her but it also makes perfect sense. She for sure has something weird and magical about her. I can never quite figure out why I love her and her voice so much. I just do. And she of course does a fantastic job with the soundtrack. Just imagine the Yeah Yeah Yeahs combined with your favorite children's album. I only wish Karen O was making children's albums when I was a kid! It is magical and weird and cute and everything that you could hope for. She also gets some great people to help her out with the album. Bradford Cox from Deerhunter and Atlas Sound helps her out with many of the songs. Both members of the Yeah Yeahs worked on the album, along with members of The Liars, Dead Weather, and The Raconteurs. I am excited to see how the music works within the film. I think it will be beautiful to hear her voice attached to the great imagery of the film. Now I just have to wait a couple more weeks to see the film. I will be counting down the days.

There have been lots of other great albums out lately as well. Please go and get the new album from The XX if you have not yet done so. It is absolutely brilliant. The album by Big Pink is also great. I like to think of them as a more pop version of the Jesus & Mary Chain-- imagine Jarvis Cocker from Pulp singing with the Jesus & Mary Chain. The new album from Girls is also great. I saw these guys open up for The Pains Of Being Pure at Heart. I went from hating to loving them during the course of the show. They reminded me of 90s bands like Jesus Jones and the Happy Mondays, but mostly just cause of how they looked and dressed. They sound so familiar to me but I still can't really figure it out. They remind me a bit of the Lemonheads. Imagine the Lemonheads combined with Jesus Jones and Ween and the Beach Boys and you might get close to what Girls sound like. 

The new Noisettes album is also really really good. Don't know if you got around to listening to their first album yet, but you should if you still haven't -- super fun pop music with big heart and soul. The album that has really been killing me lately is the new album on Kranky by To Kill A Petty Bourgeoisie. It is not for everyone. It's for fans of the dark and disturbing and beautiful. It reminds of the beautiful album by Grouper. I can't listen to it too much cause it kind of gets me down, but I do really love it. Give it a try. I also love the new Rose Melberg. I will forever love her since her days in Tiger Trap, The Softies and Go Sailor. Nobody quite has a voice like hers. And then there is Hope Sandoval, the fantasic Hope Sandoval. I was really ready for another album from her. I loved myself some Mazzy Star and always welcome her return. The new album is beautiful and magical just like Where The WIld Things Are. She should have been on the soundtrack! And then there is Hidden Cameras. I will always love them too! I have not really spent a lot of time with this new album yet, but I do like what I have heard so far! So go listen to some new music already! There are lots of albums out there. And get ready for Where the Wild Things Are. Go read the book if you are one of the 3 people in the entire world who has not yet done so. It will only take you about 2 minutes to "read." And let the countdown begin until the release of the movie...

Here is one of the animated shorts of Where the Wild Things Are...

and here is the trailer for the new Spike Jonze movie...

also out 9/22...

Scars by Basement Jaxx

Brief History of Love by The Big Pink

Texas Rose Thaw the Beasts & by The Castanets

White Lunar by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis

Magic Neighbor by Lisa Germano

Album by The Girls

Truelove's Gutter by Richard Hawley

Origin: Orphan by The Hidden Cameras

45:33 Remixes by LCD Soundsystem

Homemade Ship by Rose Melberg

Monsters of Folk by Conor Oberst,Jim James & M Ward

Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know by Mum

Wild Young Hearts by The Noisettes

Pleasure Principle-30th Anniversary Edition by Gary Numan

Higher Than the Stars by Pains of Being Pure At Heart

Rain Machine by Rain Machine

White Water White Bloom by Sea Wolf

Born Again Revisited by Times New Viking

Marlone by To Kill a Petty Bourgeoisie

Forget the Night Ahead by The Twilight Sad

Unmap by Volcano Choir

Milwaukee at Last!!! by Rufus Wainwright

Where the Action Is! Los Angeles Nuggets

also out 9/29...

Crash Love by A.F.I.

Black Gives Way to Blue by Alice in Chains

I & Love & You by the Avett Brothers

Dethalbum II by Dethklok

La Roux by La Roux

Celebration by Madonna

Chicken Switch by The Melvins

God is Good by Om

Through the Devil Softly by Hope Sandoval

Love is the Answer by Barbra Streisand

Warp 20

Yeah Ghost by Zero 7

out this week 6/30 & 7/7...gossip...bjork...wilco...moby...bowerbirds...

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 9, 2009 01:39pm | Post a Comment

Sometimes I think that I might throw the word love around too much... I do tend to fall in love with music and sometimes don't know how else to describe it. But I worry that it might take away some of the value of the word. How do I describe an album that I love more than any other if I have already claimed to love dozens of albums this year already? I might need to just start describing albums as pretty good. I do seem to use this phrase a lot when describing my feelings of certain situations, but I really actually mean pretty great when I say pretty good. So when I say love or great, I really do mean it. When an album like this new album by The Gossip comes around I really wish I had a new word to describe it. I do love it...but I really, really love it. I was a bit worried that I might just sort of like it. How could they follow up the brilliance of the last album Standing in the Way of Control? There was just no way. Their albums have been getting better and better but I was worried they had just gthe gossip music for menotten as good as they were going to get. This new album also marks their debut on a major label. They have gotten to be huge stars in England with the last album and were signed. I was worried they were maybe too busy playing big festival shows and doing big fancy photo shoots, too busy to concentrate on making another brilliant album. But I really had no reason to be worried. I had heard rumours that the new album was going to be great, and it most certainly is. Music for Men was released last week digitally and as an import. We will have to wait for the domestic CD and LP until later in the year, but I could not wait for this one. I had to pick up the import. I had to hold something in my hands. I wanted to look through the liner notes as I listened to the album for the first time. I wanted to own the album! You know, like we all used to do.

There is no mistaking the voice of Beth Ditto. That brilliant, strong, fascinating voice. I can't get enough of it. I fell in love with it the first time I heard it -- and I really mean it. Seeing them live is an essential part of falling in love with The Gossip. I saw them live a couple times in Olympia for Ladyfest, once at one of the main venues for the shows, and it was for sure one of the highlights, but I also got to see them play in somebody's basement the night before. Not sure how I ended up there but I am glad that I did. This was right as they were starting to make an impact and get more popular. I already really liked the albums but after that I knew I would be a fan for life. Seeing them live in San Francisco over the next couple of years just made me fall deeper in love. It is hard to explain the energy they have on stage. They just transform the songs to something different when they are played live. And it is really hard to not dance when you see them live. The new album is full of all the catchy songs that I have come to expect from them, but the lyrics are also fantastic! Another reason to buy the actual album is to be able to read the lyrics. Ditto's lyrics are often as powerful as her voice. The first single is "Heavy Cross." I will post the video for you below so you can check out the brilliance in case you are still unfamiliar. Every song on this album is worth your time. "Love Long Distance" is one of my favorites. So is "Pop Goes the World" and "Four Letter Word," but it is really silly trying to figure out my favorite songs on this album because it changes every time I listen to it. And seriously, every song is fantastic. Hopefully they will get over to Los Angeles very soon. They are playing a bunch of European shows the next couple of months, which makes sense, since the album is out there and not here. I know we sometimes don't want our favorite bands to get too big -- we want to keep them all to ourselves -- but The Gossip deserves all the succes they have gotten. They have been around a while and worked hard for it. And I really do want everyone to know about them. I want everyone to love them as much as I do. They are just plain fantastic and there is no getting around it. See them live! If you don't fall in love with the albums you will most certainly fall in love with their live performances. Beth Ditto is like no other.

Check out the video for "Heavy Cross" by Gossip from the new album Music For Men...

also out 6/30...

This Is Our Time by The Big Pink

Voltaic by Bjork

Got Nuffin by Spoon

Wilco (The Album) by Wilco

Wait For Me by Moby

also out 7/7...

Upper Air by Bowerbirds

Until the Earth Begins To Part by Broken Records

LP by Discovery

Blacksummer's Night by Maxwell

Catacombs by Cass Mccombs

Those Darlins by Those Darlins

These Four Walls by We Were Promised Jetpacks