Passion Pit released another video from their stellar debut, Manners, last week. “Little Secrets,” the second single from the album, is pure bliss from the very begginning. Enjoy this trippy video for one of the catchiest and most fun songs of the year.
Goodness I’ve been out of action for awhile! I’ve got a few reasons, and a couple more excuses, but I’ll save that for a much larger post that I’m planning.
I’ve been keeping my eye on the remixing scene during my absence, and it’s been pretty slow. No major activity by Soulwax or any other big name, and no real key albums dropping to remix.
Simply: it’s the slow season for remixes.
So let’s just take a moment to relax to some Beach Boys shall we?
Wait a second! This isn’t your grandparent’s Brian Wilson! This cozy little remix is a vibrant seizure of sound that will rock your cortex.
If it doesn’t, I promise a full money back guarantee.
I hope your ears get their moneys worth. Ω
(p.s.) I hate when remixers plug themselves in their own mixes. It’s stupid, and so was the “Mac OS X Alex” voice they used. So “The Girls Can Hear Us”, if you’re listening… stop it.
When DOOM released Born Like This earlier this year, his first record in four years, the rapper formerly known as MF Doom dished on anarchy, violence and homophobia. In short, the project stunk of hatred and pessimism. Unexpected Guests, a collection of Born b-sides, remixes and other oddball tracks, couldn’t be more different. It’s shorter, more diverse and mercifully goofy.
Guests is structured as a scattershot mix tape, a medium that suits DOOM better than the full-length. Songs dissipate just as they break a sweat and give way to a B-movie sound clip or a wordless coda. The bombastic horn samples of Born Like This are mostly gone, replaced by jazzy keyboard lines (“Sorcerers”) and slow-motion upright bass (“Street Corners (DOOM Remix)”).
Even in its scathing political critiques, Born was far too stoned to deliver any affective social message, much less a coherent verse. Guests doesn’t even feign substance, with DOOM rhyming about everything from a pants-less Nancy Drew to the cleanliness of his metal mask.
This sense of flippancy pervades nearly every song, most enjoyably on the honky-tonk “Da Superfriendz,” which could have been the soundtrack to “Peanuts” if Charlie Brown grew up in a Long Island ghetto.
Speaking of “friendz,” there are too many cameos here to count. Most notable are J Dilla’s production on “Sniper Elite” and Ghostface Killah’s (rather lame) verses in “Angels.” DOOM’s throaty rasp is distinct but grating, and it’s a joy to hear such a communal record from such an eccentric character.
Of course, DOOM has never been consistently great, and Guests has its share of flubs. Tellingly, songs with longer run times are usually the weakest: “Project Jazz” proves hip-hop and smooth-jazz muzak an ill-advised combination, while “My Favorite Ladies” dips its toe in misogyny.
Conversely, Guests shines brightest in glimpses of rhythm and melody in condensed tracks like “Quite Buttery” and “Yikes.” DOOM and his contemporaries have a lot of interesting sonic ideas, but the rapper has learned (probably from Dilla’s Donuts) the value of scarcity and doesn’t allow these tunes to outstay their welcome.
The record is an adequate retrospective of DOOM’s career, showcasing his perverted-soul beats and his weirdo rhymes. DOOM always forgoes club-bangers in favor of head-scratchers like “Bell of Doom” or the whimsical “Black Gold,” which is why critics love him.
Unexpected Guests, like the rest of the rapper’s work, is special in its sense of adventure and expedition. The B-side wins again!
One of my favorite songwriters of the past several years has been pretty active the past few months and I just realized that I had failed to make mention of him here on the blog. Alex Brown Church has been making some of the best and most inspired indie rock music under the pseudonym Sea Wolf. I highly recommend his 2007 debut, Leaves in the River. But today I want to point you to what he has been up to in 2009.
First he offered up a free sample, with the single “Stanislaus”, to give us a glimpse of what we could expect from his forthcoming sophomore effort, White Water, White Bloom. Which has since been released and received with much acclaim. White Water was produced by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Monsters of Folk), and sounds like a stripped down and slightly less energized Arcade Fire record. It has become the antidote to my disappointment with Neon Bible.
Then last month, along with several other beloved indie rock bands, Church too contributed a track to the New Moon Soundtrack. How they managed to get so many great artists to give to this miserable series, I will never know. Nonetheless, Sea Wolf has a great track on that stellar soundtrack as well.
And most recently, he has released a ghastly video for the single “Wicked Blood.” I apologize for not sharing this with before Halloween had rolled on by. Hopefully you will still enjoy it, even though the time has passed.