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Tag: Beastie Boys

Mike D’s Echo Chamber – Danny Brown, Vince Staples, Childish Gambino

Just a few weeks ago I decided to jump back into Apple Music’s Beats One radio shows and see what was new and interesting. There’s a lot of quality content – Elton John’s Rocket Hour is cool, but the the best in my opinion is The Echo Chamber hosted by the Beastie Boys’ own Mike D.  His tastes vary wildly (which we figured out in 1989 when Paul’s Boutique came out), but the part I’m enjoying most is getting a taste of the latest hip-hop through the filter of Mike D. I’m enjoying the new ones from A Tribe Called Quest and Run the Jewels, but overall, I lost touch with the hip-hop scene a long time ago. So it’s cool to be able to listen in to Mike’s picks and get turned on again to some good stuff.

Artists like Danny Brown, Vince Staples, and Childish Gambino…

I’ll share three of the tunes that really jumped out at me recently. The first being this track by Danny Brown. Brown is originally from Detroit, he’s 35, and his latest album, Atrocity Exhibition, is his fourth since his 2010 debut The Hybrid. “Really Doe” features Danny, Kendrick Lamar (who is everywhere I look, and deservedly so), Ab-Soul and Earl Sweatshirt. The tune just flows. Nothing I can listen to around my kids, but a great tune just the same…

Second up is 23 year old Vince Staples from Long Beach, CA. “War Ready” is only 2 + minutes, but man, just the way he delivers it, especially in the first 30 seconds, riding along with that beat. Put my Glock away I got a stronger weapon that never runs out of ammunition so I’m ready for war okay…”

And last, actor/writer/producer/musician etc. etc. etc. Donald Glover,  whose music alter ego is Childish Gambino. We’ve all seen him in something. For me, it’s HBO’s Girls. He has a brand new album called Awake, My Love!, and I’m still only one listen in, with many more to come. It’s less hip-hop and more a funk/soul tour de force that channels Parliament, Prince, and Sly Stone. It’s really something creative and unique, and this tune, “California,” is a good sampling…

The Friday Five: February 10, 2012

Friday Five

Friday Five : ‘frī-(,)dā,-dē ‘fīv : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes, then share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll have a 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 Five:

N.T., Parts 1 & 2” by Kool & The Gang (from Cutmaster Swift Presents: The Breaks, Volume 2, 1999)

Prior to penning the wedding band anthem “Celebrate,” Kool & The Gang dropped some of the funkiest instrumental breaks this side of Parliament-Funkadelic. Originally featured on 1971’s Live at PJ’s, the “N.T.” actually stands for “No Title.” No points for originality there, but it more than makes up for it’s lack of an original title with its sprawling funk movements.

O.P.P.” by Naughty by Nature (from Tommy Boy Presents: Hip Hop Essentials, Volume 11 (1979-1991), 2006)

I dare you to listen to this record without bobbin’ your head.

Pastime Paradise” by Stevie Wonder (from Songs in the Key of Life, 1976)

Seems as if we’re shuffling between the bedrock of hip-hop breaks and a hip hop classic. Where Kool & The Gang’s nameless jam supplied the breaks for Kool G Rap’s “Truly Yours” and Nas’ “It Ain’t Hard To Tell,” Stevie’s “Pastime Paradise” was the bedrock of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise.”

Gratitude” by Beastie Boys (from Check Your Head, 1992)

Ha! Here’s a funky bit of irony: track 16 on the Beastie’s Check Your Head, it’s a groovy little track called “Live at P.J.’s.” That aside, I’ve always loved this track.

So Alive” by Love and Rockets (from Sounds of the Eighties: 1989, 1995)

Dammit, iTunes! You had me going.

What’s on your shuffle today?

The Friday Five: May 14, 2010

Friday Five

Friday Five : ‘frī-(,)dā,-dē ‘fīv : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes, then share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll have a 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 Five:

“Get It Together” by Beastie Boys (from Anthology: The Sounds of Science, 1999)

One-Two, One-Two, Keep it on!

“Valerie (feat. Amy Winehouse)” by Mark Ronson (from Version, 2007)

Realizing this came out in 2007 stings a little. Hopefully we will hear from Amy again.

“Eruption” by Van Halen (from Best of Both Worlds, 2004)

Perhaps the most recognizable guitar cadenza known to man.

“Anotherloverholenyohead” by Prince & The Revolution (from Parade, 1986)

A classic, 4 sure! I much prefer the guitar heavy version he was playing in the late ’00s.

“Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow” by Frank Zappa (from Apostrophe (‘), 1974)

Sage advice.

What’s on your shuffle today?

My Top 3 Hip-Hop Songs of All Time

If you had to choose your top three rap / hip-hop songs of all time, what would they be? As I got on down to my Old School Mix at the gym today, that question worked its way into my head. My top two came to me immediately. The third took a few more seconds of thinking.

My selections all came out in either 1986 or 1987. Many years have passed, and many great hip-hop songs have come along. But when all’s said and done, these three still do it for me. There are a lot of great old school tunes from this era, but a lot of ’em haven’t aged too well. I’m talking to you Whistle, UTFO, and Boogie Boys. But the three classics below definitely stand the test of time.

How ’bout you? Whether you’re a fan of hip-hop or not – if you had to pick, what would your top three be? Speak, people!

My Top 3 Hip-Hop Songs of all Damn Time


#3: “Paul Revere” (mp3) – Beastie Boys / “Fight For Your Right” and “No Sleep Til Brooklyn” were the early mass favorites from Licensed to Ill, but based on those two songs, I wasn’t wholly impressed by the Beasties… but when I heard “Paul Revere” – the funky as hell backward beat; the fun story set in the old west… there are lots of great Beasties songs – “Root Down”, all of Paul’s Boutique, but nothing beats “Paul Revere”.

#2: “Peter Piper” (mp3) – Run-DMC / As far as crossover appeal goes, 1986 was a monumental year in hip-hop. Licensed to Ill was released in the spring, and in the summer, Run-DMC released Raising Hell – which featured the biggest rap-rock crossover to date: “Walk This Way” with Aerosmith. But again, for me, the appeal lay elsewhere on the album. In particular, “Peter Piper”. It’s the rhythm that primarily does it for me with hip-hop. Give me a dope beat and I’m a happy camper. “Peter Piper” was like nothing I’d ever heard. In fact, color me ignorant, I didn’t know until a couple months ago that the beat is taken from Bob James’s version of Paul Simon’s “Take Me To The Mardi Gras“.

#1: “I Know You Got Soul” (mp3) – Eric B. & Rakim / The summer of ’87 was when I met my high school sweetheart, and also the summer that Eric B. & Rakim’s Paid in Full album was released. Like all my music back then, I bought the vinyl and immediately taped it so I could bump it in the car. Many an hour was spent in my mom’s Buick Park Avenue with my girl and the song “I Know You Got Soul.” It still doesn’t get any smoother than Rakim. His delivery flows effortlessly, and it’s still my favorite old school tune to rap along to in the car. Numero uno.

If you’re interested, I just re-posted my Old School Mix here. Please – when Too Short’s “Freaky Tales” hits, make sure your mother isn’t around. It’s about as NSFW as a song can be.

A Nudge in the Right Direction

I swear I was only going 60!!

Editor’s Note: Ah Sunday, it’s time to relax and you know what that means a glass of wine, your favorite easy chair and of course a few nudges in the right direction.

  • The All Points West Music & Arts Festival is taking place this weekend at New Jersey’s Liberty State Park. Jay-Z took up the Friday night headliner slot vacated by the Beastie Boys and paid tribute by opening with the classic “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”. (link)
  • ChordStrike has what could be the oddest “cover” that you’ll ever experience with an unlikely take on M.I.A.‘s “Paper Planes”. (link)
  • It looks as if Foreigner has gone the Journey route with a Wal-Mart exclusive triple-disc new + greatest hits package and Matt over at Addicted To Vinyl has the details. (link)
  • Jeff Vrabel introduces us to the ‘redonkulous’ trailer for Guy Ritchie‘s Sherlock Holmes and proved that even hundred old characters have fanboys. (link)
  • Popdose chart master Jason Hare drops a Chart Attack from 1992 featuring En Vogue, Boyz II Men, Jon Secada and quite possibly one of the worst tunes ever. (link)

Beastie Boys on Fallon

The Beastie Boys appeared on Jimmy Fallon last night. Some thoughts:

  • The Beastie Boys still kick ass.
  • The Beastie Boys are aging right along with the rest of us (except for that poofy haired Mike D. What’s his secret?).
  • I know their schedule is pretty full, but the Roots clearly need to be the Beasties’ full time backing band.
  • I now feel the need to check out the newly released remastered edition of Check Your Head
click on me

Check out “So What’cha Want” from Fallon…

—dead link—

Austin City Limits 2009 Lineup Announced

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If you’ve been hiding under a rock for fear of contracting the Swine Flu, you might have missed the lineup announcement for this year’s installment of the Austin City Limits festival (Official Link) – and it looks to be a hell of a lineup. They are clearly going for a certain demographic (which I am fairly certain that I belong to), and at $185 for a 3-day Pass it comes in less per-day than seeing any of the headliners solo. The festival takes place October 2-4, 2009 at Zilker Park in Austin, TX.

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The Friday Five: April 17, 2009

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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:

Body Movin’ Remix (Fatboy Slim mix)” (mp3) by Beastie Boys (from Best of Grand Royal 12’s)

The classic remix that, in my opinion, was superior to the original cut.

Let Me Clear My Throat (Old-School Reunion remix)” (mp3) by DJ Kool (from Let Me Clear My Throat)

Biz Markie and Doug E. Fresh bring the old school flavor to the late 90’s club smash. I’m doing the Ed Lover dance as this plays; you all can join me…

“I Wish U Heaven” by Prince (from Lovesexy)

For some reason Lovesexy never clicked with me. I’ve listened to it numerous times and “Alphabet St.” is definitely among my favorites from that era but as a whole work it never made an impression.

“Mercy Mercy Me” by Marvin Gaye (from Number 1’s)

Oh, mercy mercy me
Oh, things ain’t what they used to be

Almost 40 years later and nothing has changed (for the better).

“Cholly (Funk Getting Ready to Roll!)” by Funkadelic (from One Nation Under a Groove)

The shuffle ends on a funky note today, good vibes from the original fathers of the funk.

So tell me, what’s funkin’ you out to the weekend?

The Friday Five: April 3, 2009

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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:

“Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun” by Beastie Boys (from Paul’s Boutique)

20 years ago this was ground-breaking and it stills sounds just a fresh. One of the archetypes for the rap-rock and nü-metal of the 90’s, this is just one of the many reasons Paul’s Boutique will always be, for me, the B-Boys magnum opus.

“Alfie” by Lily Allen (from Alright, Still)

Lily embarked on her US tour earlier this week in support of her latest It’s Not Me, It’s You. This is one of my favorite tracks off her debut; it’s sprightly and cheeky with a melody that will stick with you for days.

“Us and Them” by Pink Floyd (from Dark Side of the Moon)

It’s a rainy day here in the northeast and this track fits the grey day perfectly. I don’t visit the Pink Floyd in my collection nearly enough.

“Take a Chance on Me” by ABBA (from Gold: Greatest Hits)

No comment.

“Busted Stuff” by Dave Matthews Band (from Busted Stuff)

I’ve been looking for an excuse to share this…

I’ve not been so geeked out to over 60 seconds of music in ages (go to about 1:05 to hear the tunes). The new record is going to slay. Hearing Roi‘s cadence, so clear, strong and vital blowing into some of the funkiest sounds the band has produced in the last 18 years put my arm hairs on end.

It’s your turn, what’s getting you through this afternoon?

Ickmusic’s Old School Mix

I’ve been itchin’ for a while to put together a nice little collection of my old school favorites. In the mid 80’s, I was in my mid teens when I became obsessed with a. Prince and b. the rap/hip-hop of the day. These are some of the songs I came of age with.

Now, some of my favorites included some not so PG material. In fact, some of it was downright foul. Too Short’s “Freaky Tales” is the biggest offender here, followed closely by that 2 Live Crew classic “We Want Some P***y”. But hey, I gotta keep it real, people!

Enjoy…

Ickmusic’s Old School Mix (mp3 – about 71MB)

Playlist:

Run D.M.C. – “Peter Piper” (from Raising Hell)
LL Cool J – “Rock the Bells” (from Radio)
Whodini – “Funky Beat” (from Back in Black)
Public Enemy – “Public Enemy Number 1” (from Yo! Bum Rush the Show)
Doug E. Fresh & Slick Rick – “La Di Da Di” (from The Show / La-Di-Da-Di)
Schoolly D – “Saturday Night” (from The Best of Schoolly D)
Eric B. & Rakim – “I Know You Got Soul” (from Paid in Full)
UTFO – “Roxanne Roxanne” (from UTFO)
Too Short – “Freaky Tales” (from Born to Mack)
Beastie Boys – “Hold It Now, Hit It” (from Licensed to Ill)
2 Live Crew – “We Want Some P***y” (from 2 Live Crew Is What We Are)