Norman’s much-loved Starlight Mints announce digital releases, singer’s solo album.
I’ve only enjoyed the pleasure of hearing the Starlight Mints play once, but it was most definitely enough to make the email I received from Allan Vest today a very happy one.
According to Vest, the band’s two earliest albums, 2000’s “The Dream That Stuff Was Made Of” and 2003’s “Built On Squares” are now available for purchase from iTunes, Amazon MP3, eMusic, Rhapsody, Napster and other digital music outlets. While OKS is personally very fond of “Rhino Stomp” and “Drowaton” in general, this is good news that the band’s older material’s finally found its way online. Now go buy it!
Vest, of Edmond, also said that he’s currently working on solo material in pursuit of a career in film and television scoring. Go, Oklahoma!
Help Okie singer Sherree Chamberlain record her second disc.
There aren’t a whole lot of local female musicians who are as talented as Sherree Chamberlain. Her debut album, 2009’s “The Wasp in the Room” was as lovely a work as you’ll find around these parts, and it’s most definitely in need of a follow-up. To the Internets!
Chamberlain has started a Kickstarter page in an attempt to raise money to record her sophomore album, which she’s already written, and titled “New Skin.” On the page is a really funny, candid video of her discussing the details of the disc, and what she’ll do if a baby donates money to her cause: “I will hunt down a mother, find some breast milk, and feed it to you in a bottle.”
Watch, then head to the site and pledge some money! She’s already $1,700 toward her goal, which she must achieve by the end of this month.
Also, I just realized that for a $500 donation, she’d cover any song of my choosing. Never in my life have I been more sure of the fact that I want to hear Sherree Chamberlain record a version of “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You).”
In all this, I’ve noticed how much this guy cares about music (exclusively hip-hop and R&B, from what I’ve seen), as he’s constantly talking and arguing about what he’s listening to. Just a few days ago, Durantula defended West Coast mixtaper Dom Kennedy via Twitter, after arguing with @waldorfsfinest (apparently a friend?) between Pusha T and Young Jeezy the night before. He’s also been pushing Big K.R.I.T., an upcoming Southern trunk rapper/producer, extensively the last couple of weeks.
So I thought it might be fun to tune into No. 35’s Skullcandy headphones and analyze what he’s saying about it. Here’s your first installment of “What’s good, KD?”
Let’s consider his recent brief assessment of Clipse member and Kanye collaborator Pusha T. From Durantula’s Facebook, around about 2 a.m. yesterday:
Clipse’s 2006 street-rap manifesto “Hell Hath No Fury” set a high bar for mean hip-hop, and Pusha’s work since then’s been similarly aggressive. He loves to set your expectations much lower with especially playful beats and samples (the “Bohemian Rhapsody” sample on “Open Your Eyes” is textbook), then skewer them by comparing himself to, say, the genocidal Hutu tribe, as he does on “Fury”’s “Wamp Wamp (What It Do).” It’s one of the reasons he’s been so great with Kanye, who’s been similarly aggressive and graphic lately.
I’d be inclined to agree with KDTrey5 here then, except Pusha doesn’t really hit you that hard lyrically, and certainly not in the same place. On “Open Your Eyes,” he’s more earnest about his drug-dealing past, and proud of his success (“bigger homes, with bigger guns and better cameras”) than he is aggrandizing. It’s less intimidating, especially when you compare the track with his recent “Fear of God” mixtape (from standout song “My God”: “I gotta voodoo doll / Every time I pin the verse / Not only do they say they feel it but they say it hurts”).
This seems to me more like post-game wind-down music than a really gritty, mean, pre-game warmup track. So KD, while I do love that you’re into Pusha T, dig into some of his other work for stuff that’s truly “MEEEAAANN,” and you’ll instill the “fear of God” within the heart of every three-man in the league this season.
Watch Portishead play its first American TV show in over a decade.
Just when I was getting worried for a while that the super-aggro, mass-culture-canned version of dubstep (see: Skrillex, Excision) was starting to completely fill out the mainstream’s understanding of electronic music, legendary English innovators Portishead calmed me down. The trip-hop act showed up on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” to play a brand new song and a classic, for the first time on American TV in 13 years.
Watch (or rather, experience) “Chase the Tear,” which the band is currently promoting as a 12” release, and “Mysterons,” a haunting song that will probably outlive us all:
Watch the state’s reigning alt-jazz act play FreeTulsa!
I don’t know who’s behind underthebelfry.com, but they’ve shot a couple of really terrific, multi-camera videos of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey’s FreeTulsa! performance, as well as other local bands Desi & Cody, Low Litas and the awesomely named Manhammer. I strongly recommend you jaunt over to their neck of the Internet woods and watch the beautiful stuff posted there. I’d especially like to point out the pair of tracks from JFJO’s excellent, latest LP, “Race Riot Suite.” Watch “The Return” for a lengthy, impressive Chris Combs lap guitar solo, and “Grandfather’s Gun” for the signature raucous, high-energy performance you expect from the band.
So Akron, Ohio, neo-blues icons Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney (no relation that I can be certain of) are busy boys these days. News broke a few weeks ago that they’ll soon be releasing a sequel to 2009’s “Blackroc” that’ll include producer Damon Dash and a slew of other rappers — Curren$y, U God, Jay Electronica, Jim Jones and Wiz Khalifa among them.
You’d think a rock band that’s sold nearly 2 million records and won a Grammy for their last album wouldn’t be too interested in following up on a seemingly one-off passion project, but that’s just the kind of guys Dan and Pat are.
They also can’t stop writing songs or coming up with hilarious ways of promoting them. The video below hit the Internet yesterday, via the newly built website, wannabuyavan.com. It features Bob Odenkirk (of cult-level “Mr. Show” and “Breaking Bad” fame) doing his thing as a frustrated car salesman. While I did love the “Frank the Dinosaur” bit that promoted the last record, and this wonderful, wonderful bit of single promotion Odenkirk’s berating of the idiot driver behind him is hysterical.
If you call the number listed on the site, you hear a recorded message from Pat (who also tweeted the number with the hashtag “elcamino” yesterday) describing an El Camino with “a quarter-million miles on it.” Pitchfork’s reporting that “El Camino” is the title of the album, and it’s due out in December. Pretty excited for this one, guys.
The local arts and entertainment-supporting initiative Buffalo Lounge will graze around Oklahoma City this week, for two separate events.
The Lounge, which debuted at this year’s South by Southwest and has appeared at Norman Music Festival, deadCENTER Film Festival and the Tulsa International Film Festival, will be on site at tomorrow’s grand opening of Whole Foods Market at 6001 N. Western and at Saturday’s grand reopening of Myriad Gardens. A bevy of local musicians are scheduled to play all day long at both events. Each lineup is listed below.
A lot of hip-hop critics’ criterion for great rap is in the combination of social criticism and delivery. I agree, and I don’t think anybody’s climbed further up that totem than Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones.
Hardly in his 20s, the self-educated, middle-school dropout’s debut, “Illmatic,” captured life in early ’90s New York ghettos with more imagery than any series of photographs and in truer, grittier, more dizzying prose than any novelist could. Or has.
Now 38, Nas debuted the video for “Nasty” yesterday, and if it’s any indication of the forthcoming LP, “Life Is Good,” then we’re in for another high-caliber album. The video was shot in his home neighborhood of Queensbridge, and just look how elated those little kids are to see him and mug for the camera. Actors can’t do that. Watch:
And now a few lyrical samplings:
Self-aggrandizement: • “Queensbridge leader, no equal / I come from the will of Ezekiel / to pop thousand-dollar bottles of scotch / smoke pot and heal the people.” • “I’m skinny, but I’m still too big for a Bentley” • “Gotta bunch a niggas in prison, braggin’, sayin’ it was Nas I used to hustle with”
Insults: • “Your flow cheap as limousine liquor” • “Any rebuttal to what I utter gets cut”
Philosophy: • “I guess entertainment means blatantly lyin’”
Allusions • Jackie Onassis • “Carlito’s Way” • Faith Evans • Michael Jackson
Nas’s technical game is as impressive as ever. I’m excited to see if his production and concepts on “Life is Good” are on par.