Archive | August, 2012

Hip Hop Hooray (Leah)

August 31, 2012


Alright guys, the game is up. The students are back from summer travels and we have to rescind our bar stools and parking spaces to their butts and their cars and retreat to our comfort zones in east and southside bars.  We have to give back their dance music and act all adult and shit.  Here’s your adult mix.  Not too adult though, because who really wants to grow up??

KOOP 91.7FM, the radio station where Hip Hop Hooray lives, and the reason for its existence, is currently holding a fund drive to stay on the air.  I hope if you appreciate the mixes I bring you every month, and ever listen to the show itself, you’ll consider making a pledge to KOOP here.  If you put “SOTO” in the comments, I’ll include a very special gift in return for your donation!

Also, side note: Hip Hop Hooray is sponsoring a hip hop open mic on Sunday, September 9th at 29th Street Ballroom from 8-10 PM and every Sunday thereafter. You should come out and see the birth of new rap, which is way less gross than regular birth.  All the details are here.  I’ll be the lady in the Hip Hop Hooray shirt. Say hi!

:Dark Time Sunshine – ANX (Featuring Mendee Ichikawa):
:Kam Moye – MK-Ultra (Featuring Baba Zumbi):
:Bizarre Tribe – Runnin’:
:Ana Tijoux – La Nueva Condena:
:DJ Kentaro – Lapis Lazuli:
:P-Tek – This Bridge Is Burning For You (Featuring Dessa):
:Kool Keith – Plastic World:
:J-Live – It Don’t Stop:
:Space Camp Death Squad -  Kiss From A Rose (Featuring Sabrina Ellis):
:Schoolboy Q – There He Go:
:Aceyalone, Bionik, Chali 2na – Eazy:
:Danny Brown – Grown Up:
:Babbletron – The Clock Song:
:Rick Ross – Ashamed:
:A-rif – Brief Moments Of Profound Self Importance:
:Why – Sod In The Seed:

Catch Miss Manners when she hosts KOOP 91.7FM’s Hip Hop Hooray on Sunday’s from 2-3PM. Also, feel free to email or tweet her anytime.

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August 30, 2012


Why? are taking an aggressive approach to getting back into the swing of things, and that makes me happy.  Earlier this year they released the Sod In The Seed EP, now there’s a full length titled Mumps, Etc, which is due out October 9 via Anticon.  The band also just started a tour (they’ll be in Austin for Fun Fun Fun Fest) that will have them out and about through the first part of November.  Check out the dates here.  Enjoy.

:Why? – Jonathan’s Hope:  This track is a great example of what the band does best.   The music is simple, yet experimental, and frontman Yoni Wolf spends every possible moment tossing out a lyrical collage made up of harsh truths and random observations.  I’ll forever dig it.

Bonus Video:

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Prince (Zoe)

August 29, 2012


It’s rare that I write a post about a single song. However, there is a single song that has consumed my entire summer. It is called Raspberry Beret, and it is one of many excellent singles by the androgynous pop king, Prince. Why has a song from 1985 suddenly entranced a girl in 2012? Is it because it’s timeless? Or is it just that it has a great hook? Probably all of the above.

When I was growing up, Prince was not an uncommon background to daily home life. My parents had lived in Minneapolis for many years, and my mom had developed quite the liking for Prince. Because of this, I thought of Prince as “my parents music,” and nothing too special. I barely cast a thought towards Prince, until one day earlier this year when I heard Raspberry Beret on the radio. I turned it up. Then I turned it up some more. And then I immediately pulled out my phone and bought the single.

Many Prince-related musical purchases later, I can still safely say that Raspberry Beret is my favorite. It is my song of the summer. So much so that I even enjoy the almost 7 minute extended version, which I have included here for similarly obsessed weirdo fans. I must say, in its defense, that there is some excellent instrumentation in the extended version, and any music fan might enjoy it.

In the end, I think my love for Raspberry Beret stems from it’s complexities. On the surface, it’s a happy little pop song about a cute girl. But the opening hook never fails to take my breath away because there is such a fascinating strain of melancholy. The strings, which come back in to play several times, have such a hint of sadness. Perhaps the mysterious girl with the beret in more mystical than available. Perhaps she leaves him. While none of this is expressed, and thus purely my own projections and wonderings, but the emotion of the actual instruments leaves me with so many options. And that is why the excellent hook is tied in with the timelessness; because unlike most pop songs, it leaves you with questions.

:Prince – Raspberry Beret:
:Prince – Raspberry Beret (Extended Edition):

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Movie Breakdown: Lawless (Noah)

August 29, 2012


People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

No other film this summer speaks to me more than John Hillcoat’s Lawless, a period piece about bootleggers at war stocked with some of the best youngish actors working right now. I’ve been dying to see this film all summer.

The Reality:

Abject disappointment. I wish I could say that this film was bad just because it didn’t live up to the promise of a period piece directed by the man behind The Proposition, starring eternally menacing Tom Hardy, best-actor-currently-working Gary Oldham, ginger bombshell Jessica Chastain, and the-only-living-character actor Guy Pierce and with trailers that promised terrible bloodshed and intensity. Instead, Lawless is a weak-willed shit show derailed by an aimless script and a bevy of characters with no development and nothing to do. It’s as if someone took a nasty nasty, violent film about men doing bad things, broke it in to individual scenes, dumped those scenes in to a hat, and then tossed them on to the screen willy-nilly. I could heap a gleaming pile of fuck yous on this film, but instead I’m just going to write this off as some terrible, alternate-reality mistake and hope that the next time this many amazing things come together, it works, and well.

The Lesson:

Expectations are for suckers. And I, I am a sucker.

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Markov (Dan)

August 29, 2012


Ever have one of those shitty mornings that instantly gets turned around with a single email or text? That’s exactly what happened to me yesterday when I was sent a link to the new EP from Markov. The Austin band put out their excellent debut, This Quiet, back in 2010, and it’s still a favorite of mine. That release featured clamorous and unruly post-punk reminiscent of beloved Dischord bands such as Fugazi, Nation of Ulysses, and Jawbox. And like many of those DC bands from the early 90’s, Markov plays a noisy and potent mixture of hardcore, punk, and art rock. I have to admit I had lost track of the band, which is why I was so excited to hear they had new material.

Markov is officially back with The Flatlands EP, which picks up where This Quiet left off. The EP is packed with sharp tracks layered with edgy and angular guitar. The thunderous rhythm section adds muscle to each song and is a perfect counterbalance to some seriously impressive guitar work. To be honest, I’m not quite sure what they are singing about, but I love the screaming, frantic, and passionate vocal delivery. The singer has a voice made for rock and roll.

Markov is throwing an official release show for The Flatlands EP this Friday at RED 7 where they’ll share the stage with American Sharks, Wet Lungs, and The Bronx. It’s sure to be a raucous show, and I can think of no better way to start the weekend.

:Markov – Divine Credit:
:Markov – Jaws Of Life:
:Markov – Warm Arms:

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Elite Gymnastics

August 28, 2012


The Adult Swim Singles Program has delivered some great stuff this year, and I’m a little sad it’s about to come to an end.  Anybody out there know someone that helps put it together?  I’d love some insight on the work that goes on during their off-season.  Anyhow, the next to last track on the 2012 schedule is from Elite Gymnastics, and it’s waiting for your ears.  Enjoy.

:Elite Gymnastics – Andreja 4-Ever:  EG are not an act that I’ve ever really dug, but I think this is a fantastic song that’s light, fresh, and easy on the ears.  If you plan on spending your day staring out of a window with one track on repeat, I recommend going with this particularly spectacular electro-pop gem. GK8Z78RQMJTV

Bonus Video:

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Quickdraw: Dan Friel, Chomp, Social Studies, El Perro Del Mar, AC Newman

August 27, 2012


Today’s music knows where you live.  Enjoy.

:Dan Friel – Valedictorian:  Now that Parts & Labor have decided to call it quits, Dan has started doing some solo work.  I don’t know if it’s all going to sound like this relentless and raucous track, but I hope so.  Be sure to crank the volume as loud as you can.  The Valedictorian/Exoskeleton 12″ is due out on October 16 via Thrill Jockey.

:Chomp – Fresh Wounds:  Here’s a new one from Chomp, which features members of Cloud Nothings and Total Babes.  It’s kind of a weird pop creation, but I dig it.  The band will release Buddha Jabba Momma on September 18 via Exit Stencil Recordings.

:Social Studies – Terracur:  I’ve liked this band for a while, but I think this moody gem marks the first time they’ve thoroughly impressed me.  The song is a pretty simple, straight forward affair, but there isn’t a part of it that doesn’t feel inspired.  I can’t wait to hear more of the new stuff.  Developer is due out November 13 via Antenna Farm.

:El Perro Del Mar – Walk On By (Radio Edit):  Sarah Assbring is an incredibly talented woman, and I’m happy to see that she’s back with some new music.  This track, like everything she does, has a slick sound and is easily accessible.  I recommend headphones.  Pale Fire is expected out on November 12 via The Control Group.

:AC Newman – I’m Not Talking:  In case your brain is having issues today, AC Newman is from the New Pornographers.  He put out a solo effort back in 2009, and now he’s rolled out this overwhelmingly pleasant piece of pop to let the world know that’s he’s readied a new full length.  I like it.  Matador will release Shut Down The Streets in the fall.

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Weekly Movie News Rundown

August 26, 2012


Time for your weekly movie news update!  Below you’ll find a slew of sentences meant to provide a brief glimpse of what’s been going on over the past week in movieland.  If something leaves you desperate for more info, then my advice is to do a little extra research on one or all of the following fantastic sites:  Latino Review, Dark Horizons, Ain’t It Cool News, CHUD and/or JoBlo.  Read on!

Hugh Laurie has dropped out of Robocop.  Clive Owen is reportedly being looked at as a replacement.

David Fincher will not direct the Angelina Jolie-lead Cleopatra.  Sony is said to be courting Ang Lee as their next option.

Eric Bana, Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, and Taylor Kitsch will all appear in Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor.  It will be based on the true story of a Navy SEAL named Marcus Luttrell.

Chuck Norris recently said he will not return for The Expendables 3.

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost) has landed the role of Algrim the Strong and Kurse in Thor: The Dark World.  Kat Dennings has also signed on to reprise her role as Darcy.

Disney is said to be interested in remaking The Rocketeer.

Ellen DeGeneres is in talks to voice Dory again in Finding Nemo 2.

Kevin Costner has landed a role in the new Jack Ryan film.

Gary Ross’ next film will reportedly be an adaptation of Peter And The Starcatchers for Disney.  It’s essentially a prequel to Peter Pan.

Anna Kendrick (Up In The Air), Felicity Jones (Like Crazy), and Imogen Poots (Fright Night) are reportedly up for the lead female role in Captain America: The Winter Solider.

Samuel L. Jackson will have a small role in the Oldboy remake.

It looks as though the adaptation of The Dark Tower series is officially dead.

Brad Pitt and Denzel Washington may star in The Candy Store for Stephen Gaghan (Syriana).  It’s said to follow a former CIA agent who joins the NYPD.

Neil Burger (Limitless) will direct the sci-fi feature Divergent.  The movie deals with two teens who are trying to rebel against society.

This Week’s Notable Trailers

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Movie Breakdown: Hit And Run (Noah)

August 25, 2012


People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

Honestly, literally one second prior to this film’s credits rolling, I’d never heard of it.

The Reality:

I didn’t mean to see Hit & Run. No, really. I convinced a friend that it was important enough for us both to see David Koepp’s fixed-gear action flick Premium Rush, and that he needed to race back from his long distance bike ride to join me in the inanity. He arrived moments before the lights dropped, post bike-accident, sweaty and a little bloody but excited that he’d made it in time to see Premium Rush. The theater went dark, the first image went up and it was of Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard getting romantic in a bed, and it was quite clear that we’d come to the wrong movie. Coming to a wrong movie can be a debilitating process, you’ve signed yourself up for a film, and you can be a dick and walk out, bereft of any cinematic experience, or you can sit and watch and hope that this is one of those rare moments where the film you’ve stranded yourself seeing is going to blow, your, mind.

To my surprise, for 3/4 of Hit & Run I was totally won over by the sweet story of a former bank-robber, turned small-town boy who is forced to break parole and take his love cross-country. The chemistry between Shepard and Bell is at the heart of the film, and it’s strong – honest and open – and the banter they have seems rooted in a deep-felt love. Bell is as attractive and charming as she always has been, and here’s hoping that a slew of small films like this will give her a chance at truly mainstream success. What Shepard and crew have created here feels almost like a mumblecore action film, with emotions and off-beat characters taking precedent over action scenes. Shepard clearly has a enjoyment of cars though, and the film is peppered with them doing cool things, which at first (the slow-mo spinning wheels and smoke) are entertaining but devolve into needless filler. This is something that might be said about the whole film, what starts sweet and small and quite possibly great, but then breaks down with the additions of Bradley Cooper as a dreadlocked gangster and a variety of useless car chases. It’s a sweet film at it’s heart though, earnest and loving in a very real feeling way, but it’s clearly a first effort. What I will say is this – the thought of a Dax Shepard directed film was something I thought I’d always cringe at, and leaving Hit & Run I was actually curious, expectant even, to see what Mr. Shepard might do next.

The Lesson:

Seeing movies blind is always an experience – sometimes even a good one.

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Mondegreen, Or A Case Of Misheard Lyrics (Brad)

August 24, 2012

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When I was in college, I took a course on developmental stages in aging and learned about how every person is born with the innate ability to conform to every phonetic sound in every language in the world. I also learned that our memories of these phonetic sounds is what sometimes allows us to hear something we can understand in pure and utter gibberish – it’s a phenomena also known as mondegreen, and everybody’s been guilty of it. Mondegreen, simply said, is the misheard lyric, and over the years I’ve come to accumulate many, many, many of these. Compiled are my misgivings with what I heard and sang next to the actual lyric.

:Foster The People – Houdini (RAC Remix):

At 3:05 – “Fuck the sun and nobility.” really is “Focus on your ability.”

For a couple of young upstarts, I thought it was pretty unremarkable that their take on “fuck the establishment” would run along the lines of not liking the brightness of the sun and entitled people. Is it still weird? Yes.

:White Lies – Death:

At 2:58 – “Who’s driving this anyway? I picture my hombre.” is actually “Who’s driving this anyway? I picture my own grave.”

I always thought it was a little bit odd that an English band would casually use the word, “hombre” in their lyrics, but it made perfect sense! Who’s driving? My hombre!

:Wild Flag – Romance:

At 1:38 – “You wore my make-up. Very creative!” strays a bit from the actual “You were my maker; my re-creator.”

I was in love with this song. I sang this song a lot, and I did it quite loudly. Oh Carrie Brownstein, your awesome delivery of lyrics betrayed me here as I sang about a romancer you admired for wearing your make-up.

:Noisettes – Don’t Upset The Rhythm:

Chorus – “Doughnuts up the river!” – “Don’t upset the rhythm.”

This one isn’t even my fault. What is heard can never be unheard. I know the title of this song. I know that what I hear makes absolutely no sense. Doesn’t matter. Once I heard this song in that manner, I couldn’t hear it any other way.

:Jens Lekman – Waiting For Kirsten:

Chorus – “In Gothenburg, we don’t have the IKEA.” – “In Gothenburg, we don’t have VIP lines.”

Seeing as Lekman himself is a denizen of the Baltics, who am I to question his need to sing about how his town doesn’t have an IKEA?

:Spoon – Jonathan Fisk:

At 1:30 – “Atom bombs and blunt raisins.” – “Atom bombs and blunt razors.”

Did I know what a blunt raisin is? No. Is it a healthy snack alternative to a pot brownie? I don’t know. But that didn’t stop me from singing this at concerts for a few years. Years.

:Oh Land – Sun Of A Gun:

At 31 seconds and 1:41 – “I wanna change my carpet (or sometimes, garbage). Don’t care what you do now.” – “I wanna change my orbit. Don’t care what you do now.”

I probably heard this right at some point, but then I just really liked the idea of her changing her carpet/garbage in spite of another person.

:Fanfarlo – Feathers:

Chorus – “It is the same. In the river is desirin’ and that rock before that time you washed up feeling nothing at all.” – “It is the singer. In the river is the siren on the rock before the time you’re washed up feeling nothing at all.

No.  I don’t know.

:Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Satan Said Dance:

Chorus – “Stay tuned! Stay stuned! Stay tuned! And dance!” – “Satan, satan, satan said dance!”

This is another one where I knew the title of the song, but I just couldn’t un-hear something else.

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August 23, 2012


A while back I shared a song from Solos, a new band that features Spencer Seim (Hella, The Advantage) and Aaron Ross.  It was good, but I think today’s track is even better.  Before hitting play, be sure to note that you’ll be able to snatch up Beast Of Both Worlds on September 11 via Joyful Noise.  Enjoy.

:Solos – All My Tribulations:  The band’s first single was titled Carpe Diem and it had Spencer Seim’s kinetic touch all over it.  This is different.  It’s got a more patient feel, and there’s an obvious hook to latch onto.  You’re going to dig it.

PS – It would make my life if someone could convince the Advantage to put out another album.

Bonus Video:

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Jim Noir (Jennifer)

August 23, 2012


Jim Noir (aka singer and songwriter, Alan Roberts) has a knack for writing catchy psychedelic/electronica odes to everyday life. His latest single, Tea, is about him wanting to enjoy the simple pleasure of a cup of tea, but he’s worried about getting beaten up if he dares leaves home to go to the shop.

The video humorously illustrates that conundrum by featuring a gang of human sized mischievous magpies preventing our protagonist from being able to enjoy what he wants the most.  Jim Noir will release Jimmy’s Show on September 17.

:Jim Noir – Tea:

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Terry Malts (Noah)

August 22, 2012


I’ve been scared for a long while that the circular rhythms of music were going to drag us through a period of time some call the mid-90s … or as I like to call it, the darkest days in my music-listening career. A time when punk rock fused with power-pop and the skanking and pickling of ska slowly crept in to the mainstream. Regardless of my fear though, the slow plodding behemoth called music shuffles endlessly forward, dredging up that which has come before and turning it into modern music. Thus when someone told me that Terry Malts, a new project that features all of the Magic Bullets, was “straight-up punk like you’d hear in the early 90s” I cringed. Cringed at the implication that punk was triple-jumping back in to my peripheral vision and already dreading that which would follow.

Terry Malts, though clearly influenced by the more palatable forms of punk rock, is downright fantastic. Short, sharp, gritty songs duct taped together with the neurosis-inflicted vocals of Phil Benson – this is the punk rock that grabbed my prepubescent hand and dragged me down the long, strange rabbit hole of music. And you know what, if this is the flag-bearer for a new wave of tatted out punks sneering their way through every song and if that leads to another wave of kids playing trombones while a guy in a suit dances on stage left and that leads to a band claiming that their biggest influence is Reel Big Fish, well, I guess that’s music. Before that occurs, I’ll just sit back and listen to I Do (from Killing Time) a couple hundred more times.

:Terry Malts – I Do:

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August 21, 2012


It really doesn’t get much better than P.O.S.  The guy has a stellar live show, and all three of his LPs (especially Audition, which topped my album list back in 2006) are worth any amount of time you’ll give them.  His upcoming effort is titled We Don’t Even Live Here, and its list of guests includes Bon Iver, Gayngs, and more.  Rhymesayers will release it on October 23.  Enjoy.

:POS – Bumper:  This song is killer.  And to be honest, that’s all I want to say about it.  This way you’ll go in only knowing that what you’re going to get will be great.  However, I’m not sure it would be right to not warn you about how infectious every part of this thing is.  You will not be able to deny it.

Bonus Video:

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Quickdraw: Com Truise, GRMLN, Rubblebucket, Deerhoof, Dunes

August 20, 2012

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Today’s music was discovered using a metal detector.  Enjoy.

:Com Truise – Chemical Legs:  I’m not usually a fan of vocals that sound like they’re coming from a robot, but the style works for me here.  I think it might be because the rest of the song is so stellar.  This Com Truise track is from the 2012 Adult Swim Singles Program, which has really been on a roll the last few weeks.

:GRMLN – Coral:  This pop number is such a warm and endearing listen that its two minute runtime is almost an annoyance.  I want more.  A 19 year old by the name of Yoodoo Park is the main brain behind GRMLN, and he will release the Explore EP on October 23 via Carpark Records.

:Rubblebucket – (Focus) Oversaturated:  The press release that came along with this track was packed with all sorts of press quotes.  Where the hell have I been?  In any case, this is one of those effortless pop songs that should instantly win you over.  The Oversaturated EP is due out September 11, and the band will play in Austin at the Beauty Ballroom on September 26 with Reptar.

:Deerhoof – Fete d’Adieu:  Deerhoof are one of the best experimental pop acts around, and that should be reason enough for you to give this song a shot.  If you disagree, you’re crazy.  The band will release Breakup Song on September 4 via Polyvinyl Records.

:Dunes – Vertical Walk:  I saw this band open for local favs the Sour Notes on Saturday, and I came away really impressed.  If you like your pop with a bit of haze and fuzz, then I think you’ll dig the LA-based DunesNoctiluca is currently available for your love.

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