Thursday

Hip-hop has, since it's explosive arrival, been an amazing documentary source. From Wu-Tang to Jay-Z to Lauryn Hill, hip-hop has never even come close to loosening it's grips on lyrical prowess to any other music art form, arguably any other art form period. I haven't seen a movie or read a book that can as closely detail the horror of NYC's crack wars in the '80s than Liquid Swords. No movie, book, or news report has come within an afro pick of a distance to the intensity of being looked down upon and past in a world of violence, corruption, angst, and rage than Strait Outta Compton. It is amazing at detailing the world around us. In fact, one of the charging reasons why the information of what exactly is going on out "there" (meaning our own backyards, right past the multi-million dollar downtown lofts) is because of hip-hop. Everyone knows the deal of what's happening; drive down the highway and people can point out the ghettos. Businesswomen and men reclining back in the chairs for a moment can spot the "no fly zones" just right beyond. Anybody can easily recreate a gang shootout or looting or a bum getting beaten within an inch of his life. Than why the hell isn't anything being done about it?

There is something chilling about the fact that we can identify a ghetto and laugh about it. And I don't mean laugh about it in the sense of staring it down, overcoming it, but in a "Aw shucks" way, as if it's an everyday thing much like crammed traffic or waiting for a burrito to fully cook. What isn't hip-hop doing to fully grasp people and scream, "Wake up!" Take a look at the record I'm listening to right now, Fishscale by Ghostface. The album is brimming with dark tales from the hood that blow up into terrifyingly violent eruptions. It makes for an amazing song, but fucking disgusting reality. Ghostface's content may or may not be ficticious but the reality of the situation is balls on tight. Is it a good thing that people are getting shot over crack? Of course not. Than why aren't we taking these songs as seriously as we should be, beyond just being good party starters (or stoppers for the matter) or whatever?

Maybe it's the fact that serves itself mostly as a documentary source. A lot of the times it falls the ideals of what a lot of artists think- art serves as mirror for the times around us and clear pool to see ourselves in. But that is not all art can be. It can be a mirror ball for not just the way it is but the way it can be. My all time favorite music has been composed by U2. Listen to something like Where the Streets Have No Name; it doesn't just document the time, that feeling, but the hint of the possibilities of what can be, not just what is.

Now, of course, hip-hop raises it's voice a lot; it's not some politician on the hill pointing fingers with one hand, stuffing it's mouth with caviar with the other. But no one has fully risen to the point standing up like Atticus Finch and put up a real fight for what can be done. It will happen, maybe already has and I haven't heard it (or have and didn't read the scribes deep enough). Either way, it can't come soon enough.

Ever since Tuesday, approximately at 4:37 in the late afternoon, the only record to challenge the ongoing musical assault that is Prince on my ears (Q: Will it ever end? A: No. And I'm giddy over that) is Ghostface's newest masterpiece, Fishscale. It's an unbelievably gorgeous album swimming deep in psychedelic, Just Blaze-ness, urban soul, and gritty drug-slinger noir. Songs cover topics as diverse as drug deals gone bad to how kids today are being brought up to be a bunch of Veruca Salts (with hilarious interlude skit before this). Fucking hell, the 1 minute or so skits/interludes are better than pretty much anything else you've heard all year, probably for the rest of the year. The lyrical complexity behind the songs is un-fucking-believable, the almost Jack Kerouac style of writing spitting out intense, nail biting, goosebumping, gut busting tales from the "clean" streets of Staten Island like Tarantino flicks smacked down into a 4 minute window. It's an outstanding accomplishment for music as a whole, not just the lyrical side. MF Doom, J Dilla, Just Blaze, and others contribute musical landscapes that perfectly synch up Ghostface's taste for, well, anything and everything. Genius that just keeps getting tastier.

This MC I'm showing you is kind of mysterious. I can't find a picture of him. He doesn't say which specific hood he grew up in NYC. I'll try to give you what I can. He is Little Vic and was bred somewhere in NYC. He gets regualar play by DJ Whoo Kid on Hot 97. He is working on his debut album which will be released on Flood Industries. He's had tracks produced by high profile producers forsay DJ Premier and Red Spyda. His debut album will be released in the first quarter of 2006, so it must be released soon. I think Vic has lots of talent, and if he keeps getting makers like Premier, then he'll have a great album in store for us. What if you put this guy on a Just Blaze track?

Soundclick (Listen to Exorcist)
Myspace

Here's a Just Blaze article from the Village Voice.

This Chicago rock band Tenki emailed me their music. I must say they are pretty good. It's not too weird, but it's weird enough to grab your attention. Plus it's poppy enough to keep you interested. Because some indie bands are weird, but it can be boring.

Fishscale is a 5 mic album in my opinion. Everytime I listen to it, I hear new stuff, and enjoy it more. I love how there isn't many choruses. Just Ghostface rapping and doing it better than anyone in the game right now. His lyrics are tremendous on this album. 'Shakey Dog' is a whole story, with enough details that I could make my own short picture book on it. 'Big Girl' is about a girl who's addicted to cocaine, but Ghost is trying to tell her that she's got to get off of it to succeed. Even on his boast tracks, the lyrics are far superior then any thing. Listen to the first verse on 'Be Easy'. I don't think anybody is going to lay a beef on Ghostface. He'll just lay a smackdown on them. The MF Doom tracks are so weird and amazing. 'Underwater' has the perfect music for the lyric content. The lyrics seem to be about a dream. The music is haunting with the oooo's, and the flute makes it real dreamy. 'Jellyfish' sounds like a Beatles track from Magical Mystery Tour. Just Blaze once again doesn't fail, with the monster track 'The Champ'. Even the Wu-Tang reunion cut rocks. At first I thought, a Wu-Tang cut? I thought it was going to be sort of cheesy. Was I wrong or what? It's incredible, with once again Doom supplying a killer beat. All hail Ghostface Killah!

Bad news. Although King is great, Fishscale is better. But King is selling its share of copies...

Wednesday

Toure took some time off his hands and did an interview with us.

Download Interview


Prince #1!!!!!!!

Tuesday

The most intimidating and coolest guy in hip-hop keeps getting cooler. Ja Rule has signed up to do P.Diddy's new celebrity gauntlet, Cooking Showdown. His competition includes Tom Arnold and Ashley Parker Angel. I can't imagine how many 'Goddamn's were gonna hear. Tom Arnold will be on his A-Game with jokes like "It's hot!" and imitating black people. Don't watch this, because Food Network just started an Apprentice like show where a number of people try to become Fodd Network's next star. It's on Thurday's at 9 or 10 ET. Keep it real Ja.

Everyone buy Toure's new book Never Drank The Kool-Aid. It's a compilation of articles he wrote for NY Times, Rolling Stone, Village Voice, etc. There are some of the bets hip-hop articles I've ever read in here. I'm interviewing Toure today, so I'll post the interview tomorrow hopefully.

Off to buy Fishscale...

Monday

Ghostface comes out tomorrow (Everyone buy it, I mean its only $6.99 at Best Buy)! I've only read XXL and Rolling Stone's reviews of it, and they both gave it a 4/5 (XL=4/5). I haven't heard the album yet, I'm holding out til tomorrow, and I'm already mad that it hasn't gotten straight 5's. It seems like the indie sites have reviewed the new Yeah Yeah Yeah's today, so Ghostface can get the spotlight tomorrow. Most hyped up release of the year for me so far. Ghostface is going to be on BET's Rap City tonight at 5 ET. Make sure you check that out. By the way does anybody know if 'Back Like That' has been getting any video or radio play?

Sound Opinion did a podcast with Jeff Chang on hip-hop. It's a little bit old (March 11th), but here it is.

'ATL' the movie has to have extreme security!?!? How often to white people have to have extreme security in a movie theatre?

Artifakt is a Brooklyn rapper that I like enough that I'd post him on Grandma's Basement. Listen to him.

Showin Love
I'm Coming (Introduction)

I've started to listen to E-40's new album, and I'm enjoying myself. It reminds me of the Ying Yang Twins last record. Just off the wall beats, with some unique flows brought to the table.

My current judgement on T.I.'s King is currently a 4 mic album. Bordering 4.5 mics. It's the best thing I've heard all year so far. But, let's not get ahead of ourselves, a certain Fishscale comes out tomorrow.

The Black Eyed Peas have a good song! That was thought to never come out of not just my mouth, but out of anybody's mouth. It's called 'They Don't Want Music'. It features James Brown, produced by Pete Rock, and will feature on their upcoming remix EP, Renegotiations: The Remixes.

Saturday


I just wanted to remind everybody that on Sunday the 26th of March, Toure is going to interview Dave Chapelle on BET. It's going to air at 12 ET time. By the way, I'm interviewing Toure very soon, and will post the recording on the blog when its ready. I'll talk to everybody on Monday again. Keep it ice cold.

To keep everybody happy, here's some Prince videos.

Brit Awards 2006

Prince Acoustic (Musicology Tour on MTV)
George Harrison Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame Induction

Friday

Romey is the chosen one I was speaking of yesterday. I'm so excited for a proper release from this guy. This is one of the more hyped up rappers of late for myself. He grew up as a boy from the City Of Wind. Then moved around the globe for a bit, due to issues. He is a staggering and intimitating 6'7". He will literally lay a smackdown on you. His flow is an utmost gift from God. He reflects inspiration from Hova. He does that swaggering asshole laugh after he owns the mic just like Jay. There is a track where he lets his fellow Get Rich Record employees jump on the mic with him. The other MC's do their share, but when Romey takes the mic towards the end, you just feel something. Put some beats behind him, and drop a record ASAP.

Myspace (Listen to Get Rich All Stars and Go Crazy freestyle over and over and over again.)

Thursday


Wise Mecca is a female MC/Singer. She will obviously bring comparisons to the likes of Lauryn Hill, but she still has a refreshing voice with still a griddy and homemade feel to the production. Her song "Ghetto Gospel" is on high play of late, and her debut album titled Supreme Mathamatics is in the making.

Ghetto Gospel
Myspace

The Myspace of the day is DJ Bazz. He is a producer who made a song that reminds me of the Ghost Dog soundtrack, but if Dr. Dre made a beat for it.

All Hip-Hop interview with Vakill. Vakill's newest release, Worst Fear Confirmed, is early contender for album of the year without a doubt.

T.I.'s new album, King, is on The Leak on MTV for those of you who havent heard it yet. The first nine tracks are phenomenal, but then the second half falls off the map. The tracklisting is also pretty horrible.

Tune in tomorrow for a new upcoming MC who'll most likely blow your face off.

Tuesday

I try not to do multiple posts per day, but Gnarls Barkley has a myspace now, with four songs off of St. Elsewhere! This album is going to disrupt the orbit of the Earth.

Myspace
Obsidian Blue is a tremendous producer. He is grew up in North Carolina, but then moved to Oklahoma due to his work in the Air Force. He claims A Tribe Called Quest's Jazz album changed his life. He was huge into school bands his whole childhood and teens. To show the extent of his skills, he earned the title of Corps Commander in the Air Force, which is a drum major. He is still loves to watch cartoons, like Looney Tunes and stuff, as long as it isn't too 'punkified'. He will also kick your ass in Tekken.

Major Influences: Herbie Hancock, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Pete Rock, DJ Premier, Art of Noise, and the late J-Dilla.

Myspace
Soundclick

Solo Flight

Also, Government Names just did a post on DK. He is a rapper from Baltimore whom you should check out. There is a free MP3 on GN (Which is another hip-hop blog to bookmark).

To bring back memories, here's Jordan's Top 10 Dunks.

Monday

A-Guttah is from Chitown. Growing up in the streets of Englewood. He travels around with his boys, Baddest Niggaz In Chicago (B.N.I.C.). Their newest track, BNIC Run This, is just a stomp. It'll boost your swagger, and it will bob your head around.

Myspace
Soundclick

The Soundclick of the day is Ology's. He is a producer, whom makes smooth beats with video game elements to some of the beats.

Check out the blog, Beautiful Hustle. It's a good hip-hop blog worth your time and the time of you bookmarking it.

Saturday

Q&A With Tobias Froberg

Tobias Froberg iPod broke, so he was nice enough to answer some questions for yours truly.


Grandma's Basement: What sounds are going through your ears, and what albums are you looking forward to this?
Tobias Froberg: My friends laugh at me sometimes because I'm not aware of what is happening in the scene today. I listen to Paul Simon, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Carole King, Beach Boys (don't miss their Sunflower album, its amazing), Neil Young, Nina Simone. Well as you probably can imagine I'm not the best person to answer such a question. But, there are a couple of bands and artists that I know and sometimes work with. And I really love their music. I'm talking about Ane Brun, Teitur, Jose Gonzalez. There's a Swedish trio called The Tiny, and their new album is great.

GB: Sweden is producing tons of great artists at the moment, how does this make you feel that your own country is succeeding so well?
Tobias: Because of Internet, because of the fact that the music scene is so international today, you are always one click away from your favorite artist or band. I don't really think of Swedish music as "Swedish music". But I understand what you mean. The water is cooking here in Sweden, things are happening. There's a lot of good music, but there's also a lot of bad music as well. I don't want to say I'm proud of Swedish music in general, because I'm not. I just think it's fun when things are going well for people I know. That makes me proud.

GB: Are there any artists or bands from Sweden that we don't know about yet that we should know about?
Tobias: There's a band called Antennas, they are very good. Another great pop band is PeterBjornandJohn. And, as I mentioned before, The Tiny. They are amazing.

GB: What inspired you to become the musician you are today?
Tobias: It's difficult to say. I have played in bands, and I have tried different kinds of music. I guess that everything that happens to you in some way inspired you in your music. Fucking hell, that was a boring answer. My iPod broke down the other week, and suddenly my focus for writing new songs were gone. I think I need to listen to music. Good music inspires me. My friends inspire me. Ane, Teitur, Jose.

GB: Are you planning on touring the USA for Somewhere In The City? Please say you're playing Chicago.
Tobias: As we are talking, my manager is closing a US deal for the new album. I don't know where and when things will happen. But I'd love to play in Chicago.

GB: How do you like touring?
Tobias: I love it. That is one of the reasons I record albums. I like traveling and put that together with playing music. Well, then you have everything you want.

GB: How often do you get noticed in Sweden?
Tobias: Not very often, not that I know of anyway. Sweden is a small country, people who are interested in music perhaps know me. But you know, that is nothing I think of really.

GB: Do you want to become huge or do you prefer being just another artist?
Tobias: Difficult question. I want people to like my music. I want to be able to record albums, tour, and make a good living out of it. That's the only answer I can ou you. I'm certainly not interested in being on celeb photos in a tabloid. That is not the reason I play music.

GB: Is there any artist you would dream to collaborate with?
Tobias: Teitur and I are writing songs together when we get the time. And me, Teitur, and Ane Brun are hoping to do a tour together. We have done concerts before and that is so cool. If you're thinking of huge stars, I think I would be terrified if I was to play together with Paul Simon, Neil Young, Levon Helm from the Band or anyone else. I don't want to ruin a good thing, you know.

GB: Explain to us why Somewhere In The City is different from For Elisabeth Wherever She Is.
Tobias: Elisabeth was recorded by me and my good friends Linus Larsson (known for producing or working with Anna Ternheim, Nicolai Dunger & Mercury Rev, The Concretes, Ed Harcourt, and others) in a short period of time. We recorded the songs and that was it. This time, I started recording some of the songs on my own in my apartment, under my bed actually. I knew what I wanted from these new songs and I was certainly not looking for perfection, but I really wanted to get the right feeling. For some songs, I think I did like 80-90 takes. It sounds awful, but I learned a lot. When I was ready, I brought it all to Linus' studio and we began with the overdubbings. But then again, some of the songs were recorded in that old Linus and Tobias kind of way. Press record and play! We are very satisfied with the result. I think it's a great album and I'm very proud of it. I really love Elisabeth as well, but you know how it is. Artists tend to prefer their latest work.


Thanks to Tobias for doing this for us. Check back at a previous post for some more info and MP3's.

Thursday

The Red Campaign: What You Can Do Without Your Wallet


The Red Campaign, the economic activism program that Bono started alongside with supporters Converse, Gap, Amarni, and American Express, that donates 1% of certain "red"-endorsed products to the fight against illnesses that disrupt, in firebombing fashion, progress in Africa. Now, giving only 1% of certain products surely does not seem all that spectacular, but it does add up considerably if you tall up the fact that a pair of kicks costs roughly $50, so take 1% of that and you get $5 going to straight to charity (no tackle on fees to subtract from it, so far) and brand new pair of kicks. American Express works with 1% of every purchase you make so that adds up even higher, and Armani and the Gap's products are pricey enough to throw weight behind endorsing the product.

I think the general complaint among people is that corporations run America, that people have no foothold or say in what happens on the hill. I got news for you bub- we control corporations. Corporations flat out cannot exist without our wallets springing opening and dumping on their counters while they dance around the maypole. This is exactly where we can make a difference. What we need to do is make it cool to help people. People set the news flavors cool to be put out, corporations just put them in the wrappers. So what needs to be done? For starters, contact the companies below asking them to put in their support for the Red Campaign. In your phone call or email simply ask them to throw their support into the campaign by donating certain products to be put under the Red Campaign and to put money behind advertising them with a link attached to the Red Campaign website. Simple as that. Its only 1% of the revenue of certain products- trust me, they can afford it. There are a bajillion companies that would be outstanding to get help from, but these companies are just a few that have a pulse on culture as a large. If you have any companies, small or big (in fact, a lot of smaller companies would be a lot more effective than a few big ones), contact us at Grandma's Basement or respond to this post and we can further the campaign. So once again, get a hold of these guys and spread the word to do so among everybody you know.

Abercrombie 1
Abercrombie 2
Apple
Apple 2
American Eagle
Reebok
Playstation
Nintendo
PacSun

On top of that I wish for everybody here to email the Red Campaign and persuade them to donate more than 1% of selected products. The percentage could certainly be higher and the amount of goods offered could be as well. But, keep in mind, for these changes to made the campaign needs to take off, so it is more important to both buy the goods as well as persuade other companies to pin the tail on the donkey with them. I would really want to get all the media outlets, from MTV to Wired to Urb to Vanity Fair to Teen Vogue, to get behind this as much as possible, but we'll start here for now. This is only the first post on the matter but we're going to be getting much more detailed and involved in our tactics on how to get these programs flying so stay tuned for sure on how to help.

Red Campaign

Remember to read up on the Red Campaign before you start committing to it.
Au Revoir!

Okay, Wake Up



I am going to make this very clear- this government is completely fucked up. You know it, I know it. If Helen Keller was locked in a room with not a scratch of communication or brail in sight she would probably pick up on the vibes, too. From domestic spying (not "terrorist surveliance", domestic spying), ridicilous ports deals, with hypocritical reasons for doing so in tow, to a complete piss down followed by a people's elbow to any form of human rights abroad, I can't imagine what else it would take for the powers that be to at least say, "Listen, umm, I think that taking a dos-er on the constitution, and the minority holding on to it with dear life, might not be the best idea in the book." But, of course, politicians ring their hands and talk with complete asshole objectivity- "On one hand, yeah, electrocuting an innocent man who has never been given a chance to go on trial or knows where the fuck he is, how the fuck he got there, and why he can't feel his genetalia, that kind of stinks. On the other hand, I mean, it makes sense." What!?!?! Does anybody else find it completely sad and depressing that we have things like microwaves, DVDs, XBoxes, and Ferraris, but we still do something as completely prehistoric as war?

What anybody who reads this has to do is follow this
link to the senator home page and either call (which is more recommended for at least that sends a clear message that if they can't pick up the phone because it's so fucking jammed, maybe people don't like the idea of the goverment knowing everything anybody has ever searched for on Google) or send an email, preferrably both, and tell everyone you know to do the same. Listen, this needs to be done because if we allow these Banana Splits to run around turning the world into Mad Max (I hope you've stocked up machine guns and Tina Turner wigs), then we're just flat out saying the hell with it, do whatever the fuck you want. Stop complaining about how "Bush is the devil" or whatever and act. Again here is the link. Go get 'em.

Once more, le link.

Wednesday

Lollapalooza Is Coming!

Lollapalooza lineup will be announced tomorrow, Thursday the 16th of March! The Chicago music festival although was said to be mediocre last year, made a mammoth profit. If you're the head of a music festival, and you have lots of money, what would you do with the cash? How about get amazing acts. The New Pornographers, Iron & Wine, Sonic Youth, Thievery Corporation, and Blackalicious are confirmed acts from non-festival sources.The Red Hot Chili Peppers are also already confiremed from a non-festival source to headline multiple nights. Go ahead and take a pee before you read the rumored acts, because you'll surely pee your pants. The rumored acts are the following:

The Smashing Pumpkins
David Bowie
Wilco
The Dave Matthews Band
Uncle Tupelo
Pearl Jam
My Bloody Valentine
Sigur Ros
The Flaming Lips
Modest Mouse
Mogwai
Explosions In The Sky
The Strokes
Tool
Morrisey
Radiohead
Hole
Sleater-Kinney
RJD2
The Crystal Method
The White Stripes
Wolf Parade
Andrew Bird
Nada Surf
Sage Francis
Blue Merle
DJ Peretz
and.....
The frickin Arcade Fire

I said goddamn. I mean sure Coachella was supposed to have some of these artists, but it makes more sense for some of the bands to play Chicago instead. Smashing Pumpkins are from Chicago. Wilco are from Chicago. Radiohead was rumored to be roaming around Chicago at this time. Tickets go on sale tomorrow as well. Let's keep our fingers crossed for this lineup (add more hip-hop. Common, Lupe, Kanye). Put the Pitchfork Music Festival on top of this and Chicago will be the happiest place on earth.

Q&A With El Chavo

If you remember I recently did a post on El Chavo. Scroll down a few and its there. He took some time out to do a brief e-interview with us.

Grandma's Basement:What does El Chavo translate to, and how does this describe you?
El Chavo: El Chavo means "the kid" in Mexican. It was a hilarious T.V. show I watched some time ago.

GB: You are from Barcelona, which is a brand new spot for hip-hop to come out of. How did you come across hip-hop, and which specific album made you think to yourself, "This is what I want to do."?
El: I used to be more into Ska, reggae, but then i got a copy of Beastie Boys' Check Your Head, I started investigating about hip hop, then came De La Soul ATCQ, J5...

GB: How long have you been making beats, more specifically worthwhile beats?
El: Not more than 2 years.

GB: What MC would you die for to rhyme over you beats?
El: EDAN

GB: What kind of mechanisim do you use to get MC's to rap for you? Do you be polite and let them breathe, or are you a bulldog that doesn't give up until you get an answer?
El: Luckily I'm a friend of some rappers already (Cyne, The Botanica del Jibaro Crew, Psyche Origami....), I just tell them about my new beats and they decide if they wanna rap. The other collabs I got them from justing posting a new track on Myspace.

GB: When an MC spits for you, do you write the lyrics for them, or do they put the pen to the paper?
El: They have 100% freedom.

GB: Have you ever been involved with ghostwriting?
El: Nope

GB: If you could knock any artist from the mainstream off the map, who would it be and why?
El: Just the ones I started to listening hip-hop with.

GB: Hip-hop from foreign countries is starting to slitther around in America. You have the grime scene in the U.K., you have M.I.A., and then of course you have huge artists like Sean Paul from Jamaica. Why do you think it took the US a while to get hooked on this?
El: I think it's cultural, in the States most of the bands do it for money, in Europe and other places hip-hop is still a form of expressing your thoughts, fighting the system...

GB: Will we ever see you put on the headphones and start rappping?
El: No!

GB: Do you have an album in the works for us?
El: Yes yes, I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday

The April Skies

The April Skies are a Norweigian band. They play 80's rock and 90's alternative rock. Lots of Brit-Pop elements are active as well. Some songs they are trying to be like The Stone Roses or The Clash (Three Minute Singles) while others they'll sneakily take a melody for their chorus from AC/DC (Rise and Rise Again). Definitely a band to dance to at 11 at night in your pajamas to.

Three Minute Singles
Rise and Rise Again

Japanese Steel!

One more little tid bit about Japanese ultimate power for you in sunshine of land of power beat you with skill, Yasunori Mitsuda is going to be part of the PLAY! concert series in Chicago on May 27th. For anybody not in the know, Yasunori is the composer of such AMAZING soundtracks as Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, and the Xenogears. Here's a link to check out the Chrono Cross soundtrack and a link to his personal site. Ae revoir!

Najubes- The Japanese Hip-Hop Obsession Continues!

Why are Japanese people so freaking cool? Just like love and music, I'm sure a scientist could put out the proper genetic code for exactly why but, just like love and music, it just makes it more mysterious and wonderful than ever before (note: this is coming from a young padawan otaku so naturally anything neon and indecipherable I will obsess over).

So if you combine my love of all things Japanese plus my love of all things hip-hop plus Anime tunes plus jazz music, what do you get? Najubes, a Japanese hip-hop producer who is the head force of the Samurai Champloo soundtrack. If you are a fan of anything Wu-Tang, produced by Rza or not, you will adore this guy. If you are a fan of God and really want to hear what it sounds like when he enters the room, this your chance. If you're an aetheist, this might prove your point; no way anything could be bigger or better than this. His music is fantastically hip and hynotic, invigorating and relaxing, and completely brilliant. The soundtrack to Champloo must be heard (follow the links on this blog), either on their own or alongside with the show, which can be seen on weekdays (tonight! Pinto now with me!) at 1 A.M, so make sure you check out the latest adventures of Fuu, Jin, and Mugen.

Here's a link to Najubes spot on Myspace. Enjoy and spread the news!

Monday

El Chavo

(I couldn't find a good picture of El Chavo, sorry.) El Chavo is a hip-hop producer. He does instrumentals by himself and only includes vocals if a featuring guest is included. He is from Barcelona. He is hoping that MC's will hear his work and do collaborations with him. He is going to release his first 12" soon off of Break Bread Projects.

That Dope feat. Poesh Wonder MP3

Galaxy MP3

You can download his mixtape Rather Blind Than Deaf for free on his site. Click Here for it in MP3 format.

I Read The News Today, Oh Boy

I'm Explaining A Few Things By Pueblo Neruda

You are going to ask: and where are the lilacs?
and the poppy-petalled metaphysics?
and the rain repeatedly spattering
its words and drilling them full
of apertures and birds?
I'll tell you all the news.

I lived in a suburb,
a suburb of Madrid, with bells,
and clocks, and trees.

From there you could look out
over Castille's dry face:
a leather ocean.
My house was called
the house of flowers, because in every cranny
geraniums burst: it was
a good-looking house
with its dogs and children.
Rememeber, Raul?
Eh, Rafel? Federico, do you remeber
from under the ground
my balconies on which
the light of June drowned flowers in your mouth?
Brother, my brother~
Everything
loud with big voices, the salt of merchandises,
pile-ups of palpitating bread,
the stalls of my suburb of Arguelles with its statue
like a drained inkwell in a swirl of hake:
oil flowed into spoons,
a deep baying
of feet and hands swelled in the streets,
metres, litres, the sharp
measure of life,
stacked-up fish,
the texture of roofs with a cold sun in which
the weather vane falters,
the fine, frenzies ivory of potatoes,
wave on wave of tomatoes rolling down the sea.

And one morning all that burning,
one morning the bonfires
leapt out of the earth
devouring human beings-
and from then on fire,
gunpowder from then on,
and from then on blood.
Bandits with planes and Moors,
bandits with finger-rings and duchesses,
bandits with black friars spattering blessings
came through the sky to kill children
and the blood of the children ran through the streets
without fuss, like children's blood.

Jackals that the jackals would despise,
stones that the dry thistle would bite on and spit out,
vipers that the vipers would abominate!

Face to face with you I have seen the blood
of Spain tower like a tide
to drown you in one wave
of pride and knives!

Treacherous generals:
see my dead house, look at broken Spain:
from every house burning metal flows instead of flowers,
from every socket of Spain, Spain emerges
and from every dead child a rifle with eyes,
and from every crime bullets are born which will one day find
the bull's eye of your hearts.

And you'll ask: why doesn't his poetry speak of dreams and leaves
and the great volcanoes of his native land?

Come and see the blood in the streets.
Come and see the blood in the streets.
Come and see the blood in the streets!- END

Congratulations to those who finished the poem! My post was deleted so I just put up a piece by one of my favorite poets, Pueblo Neruda. Here's the trophy to those who finished or zoomed straight to the bottom- "Failure to Launch" was the #1 movie in the country and over 90 people were killed in Iraq. The former was the main headline of the news, the latter was stuffed into "Other News", followed by the day's sports scores. I am patronizing right now but I hope to God you care enough to tell another human being. Peachy Mondays, music tomorrow!

Sunday

The Like Young

The Like Young are a married couple made of Amanda and Joe Ziemba. The band bred their music in Chicago. They make alternative pop fueled tunes. They're previous albums had loads of thumbs-up across the map. Their upcoming release, Last Secrets, will be released on May 9th, off of Polyvinyl Record Co. Snatch these tracks off Last Secrets.

Dead Eyes MP3
For Money Or Love MP3

Sabine & Me (Video) (This is off So Serious)

Also, you can download their previous albums in full for free on their site. Click here

And for anybody interested, tour dates:

3/25/06-Beat Kitchen
5/06/06-The Hideout

Samurai Champloo

I've found a total of four Samurai Champloo soundtracks!! Also, while I stayed at my brothers dorm for the weekend, I discovered he had three katanas now in his possession. I was pretty much attached to each and everyone. So it was only fitting that I found these soundtracks. I would also like to say that Outkast downright stole the theme song of Samurai Champloo for their new song "Rats and Roaches".

Samurai Champloo Soundtracks


(Note: The files were uploaded on Rapidshare which has rules. The rule is that you can only download one album per hour basically. So it'll take you an afternoon to finish up.)

Saturday

Lucky Soul

Lucky Soul are based around five Greenwich musicians. The charming and lovable frontgirl, Ali Howard, has such an irrestible voice. To me at least, she sounds like Sandy from Grease. The main songwriter and lead guitarist and Glasgow based, Andrew Laidlaw, has the knack for writing a phenomenal pop mania song. These songs sound like such great 50's and 60's little pop capsules. When you listen to it, you can see John Travolta saying "Saannnndyyy!". Lucky Soul are a pop android not to be reckoned with.

Lips Are Unhappy MP3

Give Me Love MP3

Thursday

The Strokes @ Radio 1

The Strokes (Julian Casablancas) did a session with Zane Lowe with Radio 1 on Wednesday March 8th. I thought I'd post it for some people.

Setlist:

Interview Pt. 1
You Only Live Once (Alternate Version)
Interview Pt. 2
Heart In A Cage
Interview Pt. 3
Reptilia
Interview Pt. 4
Life's A Gas (Ramones Cover)

Download Session

On the upcoming "Heart In A Cage" single, there is a demo titled "I'll Try Anything Once". The alternate version of "You Only Live Once" in the Radio 1 session is just a the same song as the album version, but with different lyrics and vocal approaches. Julian said before in an interview that the first version of "You Only Live Once" was just him on piano with different lyrics, and when he explained some of the lyrics the phrase, I'll try anything once, was included. So I think the demo on "Heart In A Cage" will be cool. Also the "Life's A Gas" is the Ramones cover that they've been featuring in their live set. And the interviews are just Julian Casablancas, not any other members.

Naimi

Yet another artist I know principally diddy-squat about. I know her alias is Naimi and she's another fantastic production from the land of chocolate. She has a new album coming out in March titled Det ar jag som bestammer inte du. In English it's translated to To Whom It May Concern. Very interesting music to listen to.

Miss You MP3
Pa latsas MP3

The Impossible Shapes

I Guess I'm Floating beat me to the punch with this band. I was on my way to post about them, and so I'm finishing up my daily looks, and what do you know, they have already posted on The Impossible Shapes. So any readers of IGIF, sorry for the repeat of info, but I just really wanted to post about them. Well for any first-comers, The Impossible Shapes are a group of guys from Bloomington Indiana, which is only a few steps away from my current living space, Chesterton Indiana. They are one of many who are pulling and clawing the Bob Dylan-esque lo-fi folk style. They're music has a rather refreshing feeling to it. There latest album, Hums (released March 7th), is another addition to their trophey cabinet.

Our Love Lives MP3
Florida Silver Springs MP3

Also, the members of the Shapes have many side projects. One of them being The Coke Dares. I still can't tell if these songs are jokes or for real. Regardless, they are just rocking songs.

Rocking All The Time MP3

Tuesday

Track A Tiger


Track A Tiger are a phenomenal Chicago band. They were started by Jim Vallet in 2003. It was origianlly meant to be a solo project. He started the poor man's way with 4-track recording, then upgraded to 16-track and began recording some sound. He had musicians back him up for recording. He then thought it was time to put the last chapter on the album and have the album be mixed. After the mixing process, Jim thought it just wasn't right. He kept working on it, by adding lyrics and adding different parts to songs. Basically just putting some icing on the cake. Then he had Pat Stolley mix and master the album. It was right this time around. The process ended up producing the 2006 released, Woke up early the day i died. Get this, on their website you can listen to the whole album for...let me finish...FREE. It's great by my standards. Since I live fashionably close to them, I'm going to see if they can hook us up with a interview.

Glad To Be Scattered MP3

Sound As Ever MP3

Prince: The Most Under-Spoken Of Fantastic-Ness?


Prince is the real deal. This needs to be said as frequently and loudly as humanly possible by everyone on the planet. Don't believe me? Go to listen to Purple Rain, 1999, Sign O'The Times, or any of the other 5000 records Prince has made (don't forget about the Batman soundtrack!). For the most part everybody knows Prince's ruleness to be fact; the only people you'll find who don't like Prince are pretty easy to spot: they'll be using the words faggot and gay at a medium pace and with a consistency that levels with the words "the" and "and", have heavily gelled hair with a flip in front, and an outfit cordially designed by the good folks from Pac Sun, accessories consisting of either a silver or bead necklace ala quasi surfer wear. But anybody who listens to music (or has hormones) will tell you Prince is the man.

Then why is Prince so hard to find on greatest ever lists? He'll definitely make appearances here and there, but not nearly as much as he should. Let me make this clear: Prince is at least for sure as good as Zeppelin and the Ramones, both in songs, guitar, and albums. Yet these two will ALWAYS beat out Prince on every list ever. I love me some Ramones and Zep (two of my favs ever) but COME ON! Don't think Prince is as good as guitarist as Page? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLdVkoKNToE&search=prince

Interesting. Now, my definition of a great guitarist is by no means technicality. A whole lot of wener-wener-reer! doesn't make you amazing. To me that's the same thing as special effects in a movie: wow for a little bit but then you get used to them, then bored, then they just get in the way, then ruin the movie. Same goes for music, only it takes me only about 30 seconds to know the deal. A great guitarist is someone who bleeds their heart into their instrument. Actually that's what a musician is. That's what makes Pete Townsend such a f'ing great guitarist, as well as the Edge, as well as Jimmy Page and Hendrix. And, dun dun da dah, Prince. He's one of the greats beyond greats, a belonger to the cathedral of amaziness that only so many get to.

Now, Prince is, like I said, given credit. He was inducted into the Rock N'Roll Hall of Fame, made Rolling Stones greatest Rock Stars list, and can found on several best of lists. But there just isn't enough of it. I hereby declare that all motel and hotel rooms be stocked with a copy of Purple Rain, conveniently placed next to the Bible (I actually would suggest putting it on top of. I'll tell you a secret: Purple Rain is the real Bible, and Prince is Jesus). The Pledge of Allegiance be changed to Pussy Control. Essays in school about Rasberry Beret. Forget those cyber silver leather space suits with the V across it we are all apparently going to wear in the future. I suggest all purple ass-less chaps. Pretty much what I'm saying is can someone get me tickets to the Prince tour this summer?

Monday

Beirut

Beirut is based behind 19 year old NYC songwriter Zach Condron. The music is just pure with nice surroundings of horns and such. With Zach almost playing a folk based guitar style. His first proper LP, Gulag Orkestar, will be released in April by BA DA BING! Records. I learned of this band from Gorilla vs. Bear, so props to them.

Postcards From Italy MP3

Billie The Vision and The Dancers

I'm sorry but I don't know much on Billie The Vision and The Dancers. All I know is that this track is pretty great.

I'm Pablo MP3

Sunday

Prince!

3121 has leaked and it's making me smile and air guitar and fist pump. It has some definite mega songs on here. Here's some show and proof.

Lolita MP3

Andre 3000

Everyone's favorite vegan, Andre 3000, is still being a cool dude. He is now making an animation series with Cartoon Network titled Class Of 3000. It is going to be a cartoon with kids looking up to the almighty Sunny Bridges, who Dre supplies the voice for. Then aspects of his diversified community Dre grew up with will be involved. Andre is always just so cool. I find out he reads Harry Potter. I quickly fall in love with almost all of his music. Now he's reached the height of coolness, with his own cartoon. He says that guest apperances will hopefully be plentiful. I can see many people wanting to be on this show, as does Andre himself. This baby is going to be watched religiously. Now all he needs to do is release the soundtrack and movie for Idlewild.

Saturday

Tobias Froberg

Tobias Froberg is an amazing singer/songwriter bred from Sweden. He makes just fabulous warm acoustic music. His album For Elisabeth Wherever She Is was nominated for a 2005 Swedish Grammy award. His next release titled Somewhere In The City is going to have a spring 2006 release date. You can stream four new songs off the upcoming album off his myspace.

Grace MP3
So I MP3

The Tamborines

The Tamborines are a band from West London. They are all originally from Brazil though. They just have demos out so far. They sound like the all of the 90's bands who you have ever heard. Blur, Foo Fighters, a little Oasis. They sound a lot like Jesus and The Mary Chain too. Overall some nice sounds.

The Great Division MP3

What Took You So Long MP3

Friday

Denizen Kane

Denizen Kane is an Asian rapper from Chicago who now lives in Oakland. He might play guitar, but I'm not sure, but some of his tracks have guitars in them. But then there are pictures of a guy called Denizen Kane playing guitar but it only slightly looks like the rapper. But his music is pretty top-notch. He's part of the rap group, Typical Cats and also the rap group I Was Born With Two Tongues. He is a a lyrically based rapper with some fine music in the backround as his battery power. Some tracks he'll be mimicking the Strokes or sometimes he'll be a detective show theme song. His album Tree City Legends was released in 2002, and it's a magnificent album. He had a follow-up album titled Tree City Legends Vol.2: My Bootleg Life which was released in December 2005. I contacted his record label , Galapagos4 , and they could possibly set an interview up with him for us. So look out for it.

Only Sleeping MP3
Early Burn MP3

Thursday

Black People Suck

That's what seems to be going through the minds of the 'indie' band that no one knows about called the Hawthorne Heights. The Hawthorne Heights sent out a message to fans telling them to make sure they were on top of the Billboard 200 by the end of the week. Their main competitor, Ne-Yo, is considered you're worst nightmare. They call him an over the top mainstream media coverage freak. What?!!?! These guys are exclusively on TRL. They say they want ROCK music to prevail over urban music. Translator: Bust out the confederacy flags. They also state in the message that they want their independant record label, Victory Records, to destroy the major labels. They say this would change history and alter the minds of millions. No it wouldn't. People buying the Hawthorne Heights album are currently picking up their new shirt from Hot Topic. They call their statement a 'battle cry' for white republicans to officialy take down black people and their over the top culture.
Hawthorne Heights also sent another message. This time they have strategies. They are telling all of their fans to put all their albums in the front racks and take some and put them in sections of the store where it isn't located. They even told their fans to sneak into the overstock bin and take extra albums and put them all over the store. Then it gets better. They ordered their fans to take multiple Ne-Yo's albums and put them where people can't find them. (Note: Check the washers and dryers, and also one fan stupidly hid 18 copies behind the 65" Plasma.) Basically they are recruiting ninjas to 'accidently' round-house kick Ne-Yo fans in the face. What person in their right mind is thinking, "You know what, these guys are right." So everyone buy a copy of In My Own Words by Ne-Yo.

Here's the full text of the letters.

Wednesday

Sondre Lerche

I'm busy. I'll do it later. C'monnnn! That seems to be my replies to doing stuff at the moment. I mean seriously, I have some new Sondre Lerche to listen to.

Everyone's Rooting For You MP3
You Sure Look Swell MP3

In "You Sure Look Swell" he sounds like Chris Martin at times. From first listen, it might be the album of the year so far.

You'll Be Screaming Like A White Girl

Prince's new single "Black Sweat" is growing so stupidly fast. I can't stop listening to it. It only gets better and better each time. "When I count to three you'll be screaming like a white girl," is just pure ulimate. At first I didn't like the screeching synth, now it sounds perfect. I was watching BET and they played the video two or three times within an hour. Then the next day is going again. So that's good. I've never actually heard the first single, that was a spanish ballad. But I did watch the SNL performance, and he played another new track called "Fury" and it was pretty splendid. If you haven't seen the set yet, Prince was shredding like a mad-man. But someone on a Prince fan site said he was at a listening party for 3121 and the guitar was more a backround instrument in the studio version. Interesting. Well the point is "Black Sweat" is not a song anymore, but more of a hobby.

Black Sweat MP3