What the Kids Are Listening To: Asher Roth – “I Love College”

This week is pretty much the perfect storm for the music geek in me. Two new Prince albums on constant rotation (a familiar feeling from the good ol’ days), a Springsteen show on Friday, and Bruce Cockburn in Flagstaff on Saturday night. Yesiree, things are good in the Ickmusic universe this week!

So while I ponder my Ick’s Pick reviews of Lotusflow3r and MPLsound, I’m going to feed you a steaming pile of garbage. Sound good? Good! Blame it on my friend Trevor, who for some reason was hooked on MTV’s Spring Break special over the weekend (dirty old man! psst, did you record it?), and told me about a perfect candidate for this feature – a song called “I Love College”.

Intrigued, I returned to my lair tonight and dialed it up on YouTube. The next 4 minutes (which I will never get back) were spent watching a scrawny white frat-prone lad from Pennsylvania doing his best Eminem impression. With witty and incisive lyrics like: “Time isn’t wasted when you’re getting wasted”.

And you can sing along to the chorus if you choose:

Um, that party last night was awfully crazy I wish we taped it
I danced my ass off and had this one girl completely naked
Drink my drink and smoke my weed but my good friends is all I need
Pass out at 3, wake up at 10, go out to eat then do it again

I can’t rant too hard against young Asher. He’s only appealing to the lowest common denominator, and he has his payday as a result. But I still hate it. I hate it in a LFO “Summer Girls” kind of way.

Trevor, you owe me a drink.

[“I Love College” is currently #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and rising.]

Kingsbury, “Atlantic City” and “Southern Accent”


Kingsbury has been at the top of my listening pile for what seems like weeks but is more likely months. Their latest release Lie to Me is a beautifully nuanced post-rock work (you can download the entire EP at the bands official site). The band recently released a pair of covers Bruce Springsteen‘s “Atlantic City” and Tom Petty‘s “Southern Accent” featuring Matt Butcher on vocals. Each track is a quiet reflection on the original, capturing the essence of the lyric and definitely worth the listen.

Kingsbury – “Atlantic City” (mp3)

Kingsbury – “Southern Accent (feat. Matt Butcher)” (mp3)

Links: Official Site | on Last.fm | on MySpace

The Friday Five: March 27, 2009

To Our Members, We're the Fourth Emergency Shuffle.

For those who have not joined in the Friday Five here is all you need to know; each Friday I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes and share my five and drop a little knowledge and insight for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, sometimes there isn’t. Sometimes we have guest, but most of the time it’s just me.

The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments. The more the merrier!

The Five:

“Contact” by Phish (from Junta)

It’s samba time! I love this side of Phish, the kitschy lyrics and overt melodies (“Hula Hana of Kamana Whala Hula Bay” is clearly quoted during one of Page‘s solos) and a funky twist in the middle and the sing a long. Hopefully you all got in on the free offer of the first three nights of their reunion tour!

TV Mama” (mp3) by Shuggie Otis (from In Session: Great Rhythm & Blues)

Ickmusic favorite Shuggie Otis delivers a solid 12 bar blues with some tasty slide work.

“Better Than Heaven” by Bloc Party (from Intimacy)

This record never really connected with me. There are a couple of really good songs (this being one of them) but most of the tracks seem very disjointed and cold. The exceptions really being this track and “Biko”.

Baby’s Coming Back” (mp3) by Jellyfish (from Bellybutton)

… Excuse me, time to do the Peanuts dance, care to join me?

Rainy April Day” (mp3) by Fury in the Slaughterhouse (from The Hearing and the Sense of Balance)

This track is a sober condemnation of Kurt Cobain‘s suicide. It’s not a great selection to close out an otherwise upbeat Friday Five, but you can’t end them all with rainbows, unicorns and trombones!

What’s shuffling you down to the weekend?

Prince on Leno

[Yo – If you’re looking for the May 28th appearance (“Somewhere Here on Earth”), click here]

For anyone up past the nightly news the last couple of nights, you may have caught Prince on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Wednesday night was funk night, as P. pulled out “Ol’ Skool Company”  from his new Linn-driven funk album MPLSound. Last night was guitar night, as we saw the man absolutely shred sh*t up on his Strat with “Dreamer” – which comes from another new one, the guitar-driven Lotusflow3r.

We still have tonight, and if playing one song off of each new album is his M.O., then tonight we’ll see his new lady, Bria Valente. Her new album, Elixer, has been panned in every review I’ve read – sort of like an album full of safe, cheesy Pussycat Dolls ballads. BUT, I haven’t heard it, so I can’t judge quite yet. Look for my take on the new releases in next week’s Ick’s Pick.

If you want the new albums now, and if you’re ready to part with $77, you can head over to Lotusflow3r.com and pay your money down right now. Or, you can be like me and wait til Sunday, when the three albums are released at Target for $11.98.

The Leno appearances are still riding the Youtube waves as we speak. It probably won’t be long, so catch ’em while you can…

Prince – “Dreamer” – Leno, 3/26/09

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Prince – “Ol’ Skool Company” – Leno, 3/25/09

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Update: And here’s Friday night’s performance – the funk was flowin’…

Prince – “Feel Good, Feel Better, Feel Wonderful”- Leno, 3/27/09

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Ick’s Pick (Week XII): Dan Deacon

I’m one of the most open-minded listeners around when it comes to music. I can find something to like in everything – from classical to jazz to country to late 19th century Panamanian bordello jingles. So given that this was another “Release Tuesday” in which absolutely nothing piqued my interest, I decided to go way out there. I narrowed it down to Mastodon‘s new album ‘Crack the Skye’ – a progressive metal concept album about tsarist Russia – and the new one from Dan Deacon, a NYC-based experimental electronic indie rocker. After a couple listens to each, I settled on Deacon’s new album, Bromst.

The All Music review had some interesting buzz words that attracted me to the album – “Noise pop” and the “slowly burgeoning indie rock fetish of voices”, a la Fleet Foxes and Animal Collective. So I took some listens, and I realized this: if I was left locked in a room with this album playing over and over, I would quickly turn clinically insane. All due respect to Deacon and the people who enjoy this music, but this is clearly not for me.

The song that most leans toward the “fetish of voices” is “Wet Wings”, which brings to mind a creepy hospital ward full of Nurse Ratchetts rambling psychotically in the night.

There are some interesting moments, when a cool groove takes hold, and you feel yourself getting pulled in. But you quickly realize that surrendering yourself to this music is a sure trip to the funny farm. At least for me. This is some intense shizz… Dan, you’re a mega-talented dude, but you scare me.

Got headphones? Close your eyes, turn this up, and pee your pants…

Dan Deacon Padding Ghost (mp3)

Buy Bromst.

Links: Official Site | MySpace

All the Dark Horses

This tune came out of nowhere one day, swooped me right up and carried me along with it. Beautiful song, beautiful lyrics, and judging by the strong 2004 album that this song is a part of (‘Weightlifting’), a grossly underrated band.

They’re Trashcan Sinatras,  the boys are from Scotland, and this is “All the Dark Horses”…

Trashcan SinatrasAll the Dark Horses (mp3)

Trashcan SinatrasAll the Dark Horses [Live on KCRW, Dec. 9, 2004] (mp3)


Links: Download the chords (pdf) to “All the Dark Horses” | Official Site | MySpace

The Friday Five: March 20, 2009

Made To Make Your Shuffle Water.

For those who have not joined in the Friday Five here is all you need to know; each Friday I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes and share my five and drop a little knowledge and insight for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, sometimes there isn’t. Sometimes we have guest, but most of the time it’s just me.

The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments. The more the merrier!

The Five:

“Golden Age” by TV on the Radio (from Dear Science)

I listened to this record quite a bit when it came out and the following month or so but can’t say that it’s gotten much play in 2009. I’ll have to remedy that this weekend.

Turn on, Tune in, Find Joy” (mp3) by Freak Power (from The Rebirth of Cool 3)

This represents another random selection from my vast collection of mid to late 90’s trip-hop and abstract acid jazz. Freak Power was a collaboration between Norman Cook (better known as Fatboy Slim) and Ashley Slater.

In Between Days” (mp3) by The Cure (from Staring at the Sea: The Singles)

It always struck me as odd how easily Robert Smith could whip out a sprightly and joyful pop tune. This ranks among my favorites.

All About Love” (mp3) by Earth, Wind & Fire (from That’s the Way of the World)

I had a “Quiet Storm” listening marathon earlier this week and forgot all about this tune. Complete with the “Lemme take a minute and talk at you” break this is soulful music meant for making sweet love to your lady (or man, have mercy). This is baby-making music at its finest, dig it.

“Animal” by Def Leppard (from Vault: Greatest Hits 1980-1995)

Seriously, the lyrics to this tune make no damned sense.

What is bringing it home for you this weekend?

Ick’s Pick (Week XI): Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears

This week’s new releases were a pretty blah bunch as far as I was concerned. I lost my focus listening to Old Californio’s new album over and over. But alas, I committed to listening to one new album every week of this year. So week 11 (xi), here we go.

It’s SXSW week, and as much as I try to ignore the mountain of e-mails and Tweets and coverage everywhere I turn, the fact is I’m jealous, and I’d drink a gallon of hot sauce to be in Austin right now. I’m shooting for next year as my 1st SXSW experience.

Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears are from Austin, and they’re playing around town this week in support of their brand new album, ‘Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is!

This release stuck out from the rest as something I clearly needed to hear: Black Joe Lewis channels his inner James Brown, Wilson Pickett, and Otis Redding for some soul revival craziness. This album clocks in at 30 minutes, and is filled with Lewis’s spirited, good humored (and sometimes explicit) hootin’ and hollerin, tasty retro (60’s) soul grooves, and a great horn section courtesy of some members of Austin’s Grupo Fantasma.

This one will be perfect for a weekend barbecue and some cold beer. You may wanna grab a babysitter though, unless you want your kids jumping around to “Get Yo S***”, “Humpin'”, and “Big Booty Woman”. You can thank Black Joe for leaving “Bitch, I Love You”, another one of his songs, off this record (don’t worry, Joe’s no misogynist – even you ladies will be groovin’).

BUY Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is!

Links: Official Site | MySpace |Twitter

Take a listen to the horn blasts on “Gunpowder”, the album’s opener…

Gunpowder – Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears