James Pants- James Pants (Stones Throw)
Arriving just in time for the warm weather, this spaced out funk carries on Stones Throw's almost uncontested reign as one of the most creative and eclectic music labels around today. These songs might not be for everybody (many have totally inaudible lyrics), but this dude obviously does'nt care. I read an interview where james pants says he has chose not to live in a city, as a way to avoid all the overload of influences from various "scenes" that usually reside in urban areas. I can definitely see this reflected in his strikingly original music and production style. Reminds me of arial pink's haunted graffiti, early air, and prince. In fact, Prince would probably kill to be able to still make music this funky. And its being made by this guy. Hilarious. Highlights include "Kathleen", "Clouds Over Pacific", and "Screams of Passion". Small town #swag.
James Pants: "Kathleen" by alteredzones
Dirty Beaches- Badlands (Zoo Music)
I recently drove down to New Orleans to visit for a weekend. I returned with a wrecked bank account, a week-long hangover, and a unshakable sense of "what just happened??". After days of heavy binge drinking (accented by other unnamed substances), the manic sleaze of that place reached a fever pitch more than once over the course of the weekend. It's hard to describe, but the tunes on this album seem to evoke that same hazy state of mind I was in while stumbling around at 4 am, lost on bourbon street . Dirty Beaches is Alex Zhang Hungtai (from Taiwan), and despite having the word "beaches" in the name of his act, his music sounds almost nothing like anything in 2011. The songs are deceivingly simple, yet recorded with such a disorienting production style ("lo-fi" does'nt do it justice) that the texture of the music really takes you to another place, and even another time. Dirty Beaches sounds like the soundtrack to an alternate version of Back to the Future... the one where Marty Mcfly stays in the 50s, gets wrecked on heroin, and continues to fuck with the teenage version of his parents just for the fun of it. Highlights include "Sweet 17" and "A Hundred Highways". Also, when I listen to this album I'm reminded of this:
...which is of course, fucking awesome.
Squadda B- I Smoke Because I Don't Care About Death (Self Released)
Saw a pic of Tyler the Creator on the front page of the Washington Post Style section today (those guys seemed to of laid waste to sxsw). Kind of disorienting how fast acts go from super-underground to getting major attention these days (still processing the fact that the dude from bon iver is now boys with kanye). But whatever, good for odd future, hope they put out some ill shit. In the meantime, I've been feeling some of the stuff coming from the oakland area rap crew, Main Attrakionz (still unsigned, and relatively untouched by the blog-hype machine). They first caught my attention with the "Legion of Doom" Video (featured on Altered Zones). Squadda B is one of the main dudes from that crew, and while the abstract/blunted "cloud-rap" vibe can get a little repetitive (Lil-B), some of his joints are definitely really innovative. Not saying these guys are great (there are some duds on this tape), but they show real potential. Highlights include "2012"and "Ice Nites". Oh yeah, and I dig the reverb-drenched George Carlin samples.
More to come later in the week. Gonna catch the second half of this Duke game (they're down by 11??). VCU- I'm done hating, keep on ballin. Jimmer- the world is yours. Kemba- do work, u got this.