Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Humpday Covers Presents: The Bad Plus

The Bad Plus are a post-bop jazz trio hailing from Minneapolis, MN that I have been listening to since 2003. They have carved a unique niche in the jazz industry of today where they have revived the tradition of playing standards in jazzy renditions. When it comes to the remaking of these modern day standards I'm not talking about the Radiohead covers that every jazz artist and their mom have done, but a wide range of music that spans from artists like Aphex Twin to Neil Young to Yes back over to The Bee Gees. I just recently got a hold of their February release, For All I Care, which is an album exclusively filled with covers and the addition of vocals by the dark and daunting Wendy Lewis.
While these covers are fascinating by the nature they are presented I would also like to advertise the group's original songs too. Reid Anderson, David King, and Ethan Iverson each are great composers and have some of the most kick ass identities on their instruments that I know in music. I'll throw up a cover and original to give you a taste of their full capacity.

The Bad Plus - Anthem For The Earnest
The Bad Plus - Velouria (Pixies Cover)
Buy The Bad Plus

Monday, July 20, 2009

Artists in the Triangle this week

This next week is a host of several awesome shows in the Triangle that you may or may not already know about. Each group I speak on has some pretty cool stuff they're doing that is definitely worth checking out.

Tuesday, July 21st
Magnolia Electric Co. [The Donkeys, Mt. Moriah]
Local 506

Jason Molina's official band following his work under the name Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co., will be performing at the Local 506 at nine. This will be a pretty kick ass show for
several reasons. For starters, it's a $10 show. The Donkeys are a fairly hip group that will be opening along with a local band called Mt. Moriah with which I am less familiar. Another pretty awesome thing about this show is that is shares that date with the release of Magnolia Electric Co.'s latest album under Secretly Canadian entitled Josephine. Magnolia Electric Co. has a wealth of sounds that spread across indie rock, instances of folk, and touches on a bit of lo-fi. Molina has a long history of work by himself as well as stuff with Songs: Ohia that are well worth checking out too. A note for any show at the Local 506 is that you must be a member (essentially a $3 transaction involved) to attend any of the shows. This venue has had a lot of good coming through it earlier this summer including the likes of The Dodos, Starfucker, and Sunset Rubdown not to mention a few shows coming up that I may touch on at a later date.

Wednesday, July 22nd
Bowerbirds [The Ladybug Transistor, Megafaun]
The ArtsCenter

This coming Wednesday is a show involving one of my favorite local bands to have discovered in 2009. Bowerbirds are fresh out of the studios with their most recent release, Upper Air, back on July 7th. Their show is at The ArtsCenter but presented by Cat's Cradle and will cost you $12 at the door ($10 in advance). While most consistently the duo of Phil Moore and Beth Tacular, they will be joined on stage with opening band member of Megafaun, Brad Cook, on the upright and some accompanying of fiddle by Mark Paulson. Megafaun is another local group of the Durty itself and will have their newest album dropping the day before the show. Bowerbirds are a very nu-folk sound that is absolutely gorgeous at times and Megafaun is a good bit more folksy. The Ladybug Transistor is a band I will admittedly say I know very little about, but from what I have heard they have a decent indie sound they are pushing through the speakers these days.

Thursday, July 23rd

Method Man, Redman, and Ghostface Killah [Duo Live, Legacy Hall of Justus]
Lincoln Theatre

While I am certain this is a show most everybody know about this week, I feel like talking about it anyhow (sorry Old Ceremony, Gov't Mule, She & Him, and everything dealing with XX Merge). Def Jam monsters, Method Man and Redman, recently released a pretty dope follow up album simply entitled as Blackout! 2. Ghostface Killah will be joinin
g the duo on tour and he is staying busy as well. Ghostface has recently broadened his borders and claims that his next album coming out of Def Jam this September will have a much larger R&B feel to it than your typical Wu-Tang chaos. The Wizard of Poetry is something I am definitely looking forward to, but I haven't heard an official date on its release. A show like this will definitely be fun, but it will definitely break the bank. Sitting on a $32.50 ticket fee in advance and $36 at the door is a deal breaker for most people, but I'll see if I can scrape together some cash to make things happen. I would comment on the openers for this show, but if you've ever been to a hip hop show in the Triangle you know just about every opener is hit or miss.

Outside of all this business I will give a shout out to XX Merge this week which will be one of the coolest things happening in this area. Happy 20th Merge Records, but c
urse you for your pricey tickets and beyond sold-out-ed-ness.


Magnolia Electric Co. - Josephine
buy Magnolia Electric Co.

Bowerbirds - Northern Lights
buy Bowerbirds

Ghostface Killah - Wu Banga 101
buy Ghostface Killah

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Progress in hip hop

Progressive hip hop is doing its thang! While urban crossover artists and Auto-Tune (RIP) have been going gangbusters on the music industry, there are glimpses of my favorite sub genre squeezing through the cracks. This is my first time working with you guys so I figure it will be fun to have a razzly dazzly selection of hip hop prospects, local successes, and legal freebies. Ya dig? Here we go.

For starters, I've gotta rep for Durham, NC here and share some love for Little Brother's very own: Big Pooh. I've always enjoyed the products of the duo founded at NCCU and continue to be impressed by Pooh's second official solo release, Delightful Bars. This album dropped back in the middle of May and is staying hot with its recent ranking at fifth in BET's 12 Independent Albums You Must Own. If you dig some well versed lyricism, dirty beats, and a little bit of fun this is definitely a wise purchase for you. When is the last time you had an encounter with the Durty and didn't enjoy yourself? Keep the hype alive for Pooh and take a moment to appreciate the multiple delightful album arts for this great release if you find the time.

Moving on to one of my favorite new(ish) artists to follow, Wale. With a monstrous breakout mixtape and a rivaling followup Wale is on the high road to success commercially despite his somewhat alternative sound. Recently announced is the release of his first official album and it is going to kill. Attention: Deficit is planned to hit shelves and the web September 22nd and I haven't gotten to the best of it. What has really got me pumped about the work Wale is doing is the artists backed behind him. Names like Dave Sitek (of TV on the Radio), K'naan, 9th Wonder, Q-Tip, and Bun B are all helping with the production along with a hefty list of other talented names in the music business. If you wanna know any more make sure to check out this interview.

Because Atmosphere is great, on tour, and offering a few free tracks they'll get a shout too. The duo has thrown a new EP onto the web for free in correlation with the 15 second registry with Fifth Element Online, a new online store. The EP, Leak at Will, is a nice little (essentially) freebie to check out. Enjoy.

Nom nom nom, music

Lovin' It - Little Brother
buy Little Brother or Big Pooh

Nike Boots - Wale
buy Wale

66th Street - Atmosphere
buy Atmosphere


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