Monday, November 30, 2009

Discussion Question

In my music course today (PLUG: if you ever get the chance to take a class with Neil Lerner, don't pass up the opportunity; the man is phenomenal at what he does), we began covering the topic of rap and hip hop. After class, three students went up to the teacher and asked him his preference, Tupac or BIG. The teacher answered BIG and then questioned his students as to what the connotations of his answer were. Herein lies the part of this story where I take issue: the three students explained that those who side with Tupac are "more about lyrics," whereas those who side with Biggie are "more about beats." Do you agree with this explanation? I know my stance, but I'd like to hear yours.

Song of the Day (11/30/09)

A sizable portion of my 15,000+ song iTunes library has just kind of appeared; that is, I've downloaded tracks and albums here and there, only to rediscover them later. Such was the case with today's Song of the Day. This electropop-disco fusion song, entitled "Solid Gold" is by the NYC-by-way-of-Wales duo The Golden Filter. Accompanying the thumping 8-bit bass line are gauzy, dreamy female vocals that lend a drugged-out vibe to the track. Think of it as jj's "ecstacy" crossed with Crystal Castles...

The Golden Filter: "Solid Gold"


















http://www.box.net/shared/xtrhbt6emu

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Song of the Day (11/29/09)

Many of you have been enjoying Mike Posner's sophomore mixtape release, One Foot Out the Door, for several weeks now (if you don't have it yet, download it for free here). Among the many catchy tracks featured on this mixtape is "You Don't Have To Leave." What most don't realize is that this song is actually not an original Mike Posner beat; rather, it samples a song by Australian electro-pop act Miami Horror—and a good one at that. So, with today's Song of the Day, I've uploaded "Sometimes" by Miami Horror so that you can have both the original and Mike Posner versions. You decide which one is superior.

Miami Horror: "Sometimes"




















http://www.box.net/shared/klyhzqd6qd

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Song of the Day (11/28/09)

Perhaps the biggest act in indie of 2009 has been Animal Collective, taking the scene by storm since the release of their phenomenal album, Merriweather Post Pavilion in January. Ever since, they've been rocking the touring circuit and even performing on network TV. Completing the bookend of this seminal year for AC is Fall Be Kind, a five-song EP that simply reaffirms the outfit's vice grip of the indie genre. This particular song completes the EP and, in my opinion, bears the greatest resemblance of the five tracks to their MPP style. So, download this Song of the Day, bump it, and then head out to your local independent record store to pick up the entire Fall Be Kind EP. You won't regret it.

Animal Collective: "I Think I Can"

















http://www.box.net/shared/fo4ggtdnl1

Friday, November 27, 2009

Song of the Day (11/27/09)

Today's Song of the Day comes from New Jersey band Holler, Wild Rose (yes, the comma is included in the band's name). Their sound is what would result if you brought together My Bloody Valentine, Stateless, and Jeff Buckley at the edge of the world and told them to make music. This particular track features swells of beautifully fuzzy feedback flanked by droney oohs and ahhs, which combine to create what is essentially a shoegaze piece with an indie rock tinge. Download this song, throw it on your iPod, and go watch the autumn sunset as "Marylawn Hair" cozies itself in your eardrums with all-enveloping distortion...

Holler, Wild Rose: "Marylawn Hair"















http://www.box.net/shared/16loo2xk23

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Apparently the Davidson Honor Code doesn't apply to post-rock...

Get this: I'm sitting here listening to some more My Education, the artist featured in today's Song of the Day post, and I get to the fourth track ("Mother May I") from their most recent release, Bad Vibrations. Having listened to it in the past, I always thought that the chord progression sounded familiar, but I never could quite put my finger on where I'd heard it before. Today, the eureka moment came. "Mother May I" (from 2008) has the same exact chord progression as "Thirteen Robins Road" by The Evpatoria Report (from 2008 as well). Now, these two obscure post-rock bands don't matter to anyone but a handful of audiophiles like myself, but the fact of the matter is that there's some stealing of intellectual property going on here. To me, this is just about as obvious as the Coldplay vs. Joe Satriani plagiarism incident. However, where blame is to be placed is unclear, as both songs were likely recorded around the same time.

Below, I've uploaded both tracks so that you can observe the similarities for yourself (@ about the 11-minute mark for "Eighteen Robins Road").

My Education: "Mother May I" [from 2008 album, Bad Vibrations]















http://www.box.net/shared/d4ye5brt6m


The Evpatoria Report: "Eighteen Robins Road" [from 2008 album, Maar]
















http://the-evpatoria-report.bandcamp.com/track/eighteen-robins-road

EDITED @ 7 PM: I mistook the Evpatoria Report songs, citing "Dipole Experiment" instead of "Eighteen Robins Road" as the contentious piece. I have cleared up this issue.

Lupe samples Radiohead

So, I just sat down to listen to Lupe Fiasco's new mixtape, Enemy of the State: A Love Story, and after getting through the Keri Hilson "Knock You Down" intro, I am surprised by Colin Greenwood's filthy bass riff of Radiohead's "The National Anthem". I do not approve. Radiohead's work should not be bastardized in this manner, as it has been done before. Call me a Radiohead snob (because I am), but Thom, Jonny, Colin, Phil, and Ed's work is just too magnificent to be adulterated in this way.

This is just opinion, however, so I've uploaded the concerned track for your listening so that you can come to your own conclusion.

Lupe Fiasco- "Enemy of the State: A Love Story"

Song of the Day (11/26/09)

Happy Thanksgiving!

In concordance with the holiday, today's Song of the Day is entitled "Thanksgiving" and comes from the Austin, Texas, post-rock outfit, My Education. Combining lush strings, tonal guitars, placid percussion, and subtle piano, this track features a sprawling wall of sound that serves as the perfect backdrop for reminiscing about all the things for which we should be thankful.

My Education: "Thanksgiving"















http://www.box.net/shared/17jqa8bd8n

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The next you won't be able to escape.

A couple of tracks that maybe aren't the most indie in the blogosphere, but you're going to hear them floating about soon (if there is any hope left on this planet). Might as well hear them here first.

Jose Gonzalez/ Josh Rouse/ Postal Service/ Autumn Defense/ etc...

Bon Iver/ The Fray/ Wilco/ As Tall As Lions/ etc...

We'll do our absolute best to keep this as indie as possible, but these are some irresistible nuggets.

Hasta Luego...Happy Turkey Day
-The Muzjiks Brethren

Song of the Day (11/25/09)

Your new favorite doo-wop cum 70's sitcom theme, Generationals "When They Fight, They Fight," screams for when the sun peaks back from behind the clouds and the late November breeze tickles your ear.

Repeat listens encouraged. Listen, rinse, go at it again.



Song of the Day (11/25/09) [DJ Swine]

Those of you who've heard of the artist who performs today's Song of the Day probably know about him because of "Dance With the Devil" (more on that in the rant below), a haunting track that recounts the supposed true first-hand of account of the rapper's witness of and participation in a gang rape (it's not). However, today, I am posting up a more obscure song from that same album, Revolutionary Vol. 1, which is entitled "No Me Importa." Born in Peru and growing up in the slums of Harlem, Immortal Technique is fluent in Spanish, although he raps primarily in English. Here, though, Technique flows in Spanglish, constructing verses using both languages, which, as you might assume, makes for some crazy wordplay. Accordingly, the beat is laid-back with only some percussion and what almost sounds like a gentler, flute version of the Pink Panther theme, emphasizing Technique's emceeing abilities by removing any potential clutter that a more sophisticated beat would cause. I also selected this particular Immortal Technique song because it's light on the conspiracy theories and antigovernment sentiment, two key elements of Technique's style that occasionally rub listeners the wrong way. The final comment I'd like to make is that both of his studio albums, Revolutionary Vol. 1 and Revolutionary Vol. 2, are classics in my opinion, so check them out if today's Song of the Day is up your alley.

Immortal Technique: "No Me Importa"





















http://www.box.net/shared/1xq2cnpu16
-----------
Rant!!
Many people I've encountered who have heard of Immortal Technique only know "Dance With the Devil," which is fine in and of itself. However, what these people tend to do is follow up the fact that they know this song with, "Yeah, I love Immortal Technique." Upon further questioning, though, I soon find out that this is the only song that they know, which annoys me to no end. Knowing only one song by an artist should forbid you from being able to proclaim that you "love" that artist, but people continue to do it. I'd like to hereby coin this phenomenon the "Led Zeppelin effect" because with no other band and no other song is this more prominent than Led Zeppelin and "Stairway to Heaven." Just because you like "Stairway to Heaven" doesn't mean you are a Led Zeppelin fan. So, next time you witness a case of the Led Zeppelin effect, please do me and every other music geek a favor and politely tell the offender to go play in traffic.

This has been a public service announcement courtesy of Muzjiks. Have a nice day.

Excuse Me...Cockface.

While home for Thanksgiving allows me to see my family and catch up with friends, it also allows me to catch up a bit with my late night television and the imbeciles that they interview on said programs. This snippet comes from our favorite human penis, Tommy Lee of Motley Cruuu.


Now seems innocent enough until you consider that this has been done by numerous bands over the last 18 months. Namely, Muzjiks' house band (in a perfect world), Radiohead. I will do my best not to turn this into a Radiohead fan site, but give credit where credit is due...you cockface.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Reminder

There will not be a show tonight due to Thanksgiving break, but we will be back next Tuesday, December 1, for episode 6 at 8 PM on WALT. You will be able to listen live online at the following link:

http://community.loudcity.com/stations/walt1610/files/show/walt.m3u

Until then, check back daily for news, write-ups, and updates here on the blog.

Song of the Day (11/24/09)

Today's Song of the Day comes from a dubstep artist named Joker. Unlike the figurehead of the dubstep genre, the enigmatic Burial, who masterfully concocts grimy mixes that you'd find in a post-apocalyptic alleyway discotheque but lack a conventional melody, Joker makes it a point to incorporate catchy melodies. And I quote:

Pitchfork: Your music seems a lot more melodically rich and funkier than a lot of the stuff we hear from London. Is that something you've been going for?

Joker: Yeah. I hate boring shit. It's gotta have music, innit?
Source: http://pitchfork.com/news/36125-rising-joker/
The track I've uploaded is entitled "Digidesign" and offers a good overview of what Joker is all about. It maintains that characteristic griminess of the dubstep genre, but it forges into hip hop and funk as well. Another element of this song that makes it so appealing is its multisectional form, introducing new parts as it goes and thus keeping the track fresh. This is key, as I find that many dance-type songs end up getting tedious at about the two minute mark. One final point I'd like to add is that "Digidesign" serves as a great driving song, its thumping bass line allowing you to actually feel the song when the bass is turned up full blast and the subwoofers are holding on to the car frame for dear life. Enjoy!

Joker: "Digidesign"

















http://www.box.net/shared/gv2ncm811i

Monday, November 23, 2009

Song of the Day (11/23/09)

I don't know if I'll be able to keep up with this daily, but here's the first ever Muzjiks Song of the Day:

Woodhands: "Dancer (CFCF Remix)"















http://www.box.net/shared/dzz6z4o5j7

A great remix of a solid song. Combines gauzy female vocals with a mellow, yet catchy beat. Think jj plus The Incredible Machine soundtrack, except with a hip-hop tinge and a heavier bass line.

(And, yes, I just made that computer game comparison. That just happened.)

My Morning Jacket Insanity

As I mentioned on last week's episode, My Morning Jacket is one of my "short list" bands, bands that I take with me wherever I go. Here' s MMJ's first pentetration of the public unconcious courtesy of Seth Macfarlane and "American Dad."



And now, my own personal MMJ concert experience. Needless to say, if you ever have the chance, go ahead and go to a show.



Sunday, November 22, 2009

Week 6: The Lost Episode Vol. 2 (11/17/09)


Due to some podcasting difficulties, you will not be able to relive the magic of the new dual DJ Muzjiks format. You can recreate the magic yourself with Week 6's bomb ass playlist. Keep living the dream...
  1. Ronald Jenkees: “Disorganized Fun” [intro]
  2. RJD2: “Ghostwriter”
  3. Outkast: "Southernplayalistic"
  4. Wale: “90210”
  5. TV on the Radio: “DLZ”
  6. My Morning Jacket- "Gideon"
  7. Atlas Sound (ft. Noah Lennox): “Walkabout”
  8. Animal Collective: “Bluish”
  9. Lil Wayne: “Wayne On Me”
  10. Super Mash Bros- from Fuck Bitches Get Euros
To go along with the moderate Animal Collective theme of week 6, I would like to share a track off the not yet released Fall Be Kind EP. The Phaseone remix of the Merriweather Post Pavilion track , "Daily Routine," is as dope as remixes come these days.





Past Episodes

Here are the playlists of past episodes. If you find that you enjoy a particular song, feel free to request more of that artist by calling in @ (704) 894-2471 or leaving a comment. You can find episodes 2-4 available for download in podcast form here. Enjoy!


Episode 1: The Lost Episode, Volume 1 (10/20/09)
Playlist
  1. Margot and the Nuclear So and So's: "A Sea Chanty of Sorts"
  2. TV on the Radio: "Staring at the Sun"
  3. Sugar Glyder: "Blackbeard Has Feelings Too"
  4. People in Planes: "Pretty Buildings"
  5. Third Eye Blind: "Jumper"
  6. jj: "Ecstasy"
  7. Juelz Santana: "Mixin' Up the Medicine"
Episode 2: Sealed Russian Dolls (10/27/09)
Playlist

  1. Tantric: "Down and Out" [requested intro]
  2. Fleet Foxes: "Mykonos"
  3. Megafaun: "The Fade"
  4. Passion Pit: "Sleepyhead"
  5. Slow Runner: "Trying to Put Your Heart Back Together"
  6. Neutral Milk Hotel: "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea"
  7. The Rural Alberta Advantage: "Don't Haunt This Place"
  8. Tommy Emmanuel: "Classical Gas" (cover)
  9. Cloud Cult: "Pretty Voice"
  10. The Antlers: "Prologue"
  11. White Rabbits: "Percussion Gun"
  12. Fleetwood Mac: "Go Your Own Way" [call-in request]
  13. Lil Wayne: "Run This Town"
Episode 3: Athazagoraphobia (11/3/09)
Playlist
  1. Ronald Jenkees: "Disorganized Fun" [intro]
  2. Andrew Bird: "Fitz and the Dizzy Spells"
  3. The Rural Alberta Advantage: "Luciana"
  4. Ramona Falls: "Russia"
  5. Sugar Glyder: "Flowers"
  6. Nektar: "Countenance"
  7. Discovery (ft. Ezra Koenig): "Carby"
  8. Blind Pilot: "Paint or Pollen"
  9. Sea Wolf: "Dew in the Grass"
  10. Metric: "Gold, Guns, Girls"
  11. Mike Posner: "One Foot Out the Door"
  12. Jedi Mind Tricks (ft. Kool G Rap): "Animal Rap"
Episode 4: Inoculating for the Yawn Epidemic (11/10/09)
Playlist
  1. Soul Position: "Oxford, You Really Owe Me" [intro]
  2. Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground: "Hey Momma"
  3. Ted Leo & the Pharmacists: "Me and Mia"
  4. The King Left: "I Have to Let You Win (Stop Trying)"
  5. Band of Horses: "The Funeral"
  6. Monsters of Folk: "Say Please"
  7. The Postal Service: "Brand New Colony"
  8. Lightspeed Champion: "Galaxy of the Lost"
  9. Dispatch: "Elias (Live, All Points Bulletin)"
  10. ComaR: "Billie Jean, My Love ('Billie Jean' vs. 'My Love' mashup)"

The Death of Super Mash Bros

As the first real post on the Muzjiks blog, I (DJ Swine) present to you a lengthy review of Super Mash Bros' live "performance" at Davidson College on November 20th, along with a more general criticism of the duo. At this point, the following is merely a collection of thoughts, but I intend to combine and edit them into one cohesive whole at some point in the near future. For now, I just wanted to get these ideas out in the open...

  • The DIY mashup movement of the mid- to late-2000s is the DIY garage rock movement of the 1970s with the Troggs and Question Mark & the Mysterians updated to the digital age and stripped of legitimate musical talent.
  • Now, I am aware that between the two of them, Super Mash Bros have significant technical computer know-how and traditional musical training (Interview with Tha Good Life), but the fact of the matter is that anyone could do what they’re doing with a free afternoon, an iTunes library, and some pirated software—read eight pages, and you’re Super Mash Bros (How to Make a Mashup)! Last time I checked, all reading 8 pages about Jonny Greenwood or Jimi Hendrix or David Gilmour’s guitar-playing style gets you is a history lesson; if you’re lucky you learn a particular pedal that they’re fond of, but it’s not like you’re all of a sudden as adept as the professionals in a mere eight pages. In contrast, if you or I spent those few hours fiddling with mp3s, we’d be on the same level as Super Mash Bros, the so-called professionals of the genre. For goodness sake, their entire career stemmed out of a friend’s dare; you could double doggy dare me with sugar on top and I couldn’t be Bob Dylan if I tried.
  • In the musical genre evolutionary tree, Super Mash Bros should be placed as a offshoot of nerdcore.
  • What the 12-year-old cool kids listen to—the ones whose mom serves the sweet pizza rolls when you come over for sleepovers and playdates.
  • Where has this generation’s musical pallet gone?
  • Literally, the “concert” consisted of these two schmucks putting their two burned CD mixes on random and interjecting a few GarageBand default loops with some tremolo before playing an essentially unaltered current pop song in attempt to pawn off their live show as incorporating “new material.” For instance, what I suspect many people would consider the highlight of the “performance” came when Super Mash Bros had the whole crowd chant “U-S-A, U-S-A” (probably just long enough for them to type “Miley Cyrus” into their iTunes search bar) and then “Party in the USA” came on to a roaring crowd response. Problem is, it wasn’t a new mashup or anything; rather, it was the original song that they gave a heavier bass line so that it would bump a little more—again, something that could be accomplished in two minutes on GarageBand. Granted, there was a brief segment where the Miley instrumental was mashed with “Drip Sweat,” but that only lasted some twenty seconds before the song was played by itself. What I found most entertaining, however, was how there was about two seconds of silence between the end of “Party in the USA” and “Kisses and Thugs” from All About the Scrillions came on (@1:23). We’re literally witnessing the two-second gap between songs on a burned CD. Also entertaining is the crowd behavior during this time as they collectively stop (even the cameraman’s hand steadies) and wait for the track change.

  • As I listened incredulously, the duo also played Girl Talk’s mashup of Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” and dropped the beat at the same exact part, except the “beat” was not a masterful musical collage of Nine Inch Nails, Egyptian Lover, The Zombies, MC Hammer, and Tone Loc, but rather another GarageBand that served only to thicken the bass. Super Mash Bros were quite blatantly attempting to steal what is usually considered the climax of Girl Talk live shows and make some contrived recreation.
  • Davidson College and colleges all over America are dropping some $6K at a time so that two Pok√©mon-playing masturbation addicts can plug in their laptops that grandma bought them two Christmases ago and press play on iTunes.
  • We’re not talking Dan Deacon nerdy with Nick and Dick from Super Mash Bros; we’re talking girl-who-knows-every-Weird-Al-lyric-by-heart nerdy.
  • Should be sold in record stores right next to the Dragonforce display (obviously an analogical statement because it actually belongs nowhere near a record store; rather, it belongs in little Betsy’s cute Hello Kitty CD case between Smashmouth and Jock Jams).
  • This is precisely why old-timers complain about all the “young people’s” music when only some sixty odd years ago in their youth they were listening to the likes of Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller and other big bands with saxophonists and trumpets and improvisation and rhythm sections and musical talent—and now we have this drivel?
  • I’m ashamed to be associated with this for the sake of my own musical integrity.
  • Now, it’s not fair to isolate Super Mash Bros and place all the criticism squarely on them because, in actuality, this is a diatribe against the whole DIY mashup scene at large. The whole thing is a gimmick, a fleeting fad that just plays on this generation’s nostalgia for their youth—Space Jam? Fresh Prince? Jimmy Eat World?
  • As far as the concert listening party goes, it seemed to me like a manifestation of Freudian regression to youthful tendencies. I felt like I was at my 7th grade middle school dance—you know, the one where you dress up in your nicest Abercrombie outfit and mom drops you off around the corner and you get to touch Janey’s lower torso during that snowball dance. Or perhaps (the more likely hypothesis) the prepubescent atmosphere originated in the two “musical artists”—one of which sported braces—and spread to the crowd.
  • Now every rich white elementary schooler who has taken Mrs. Fickle’s music special every F Day after recess and mid-morning snack (yogurt-covered raisins and Fun Dip day!) can be a rock star. This is the same culture where DJ Hero is on every 10-year-old’s Christmas wish list, mind you.
  • This is novelty music. It has no place being slotted between sunset rubdown and the Supremes on my iPod.
  • Transitions practically nonexistent: Whereas Girl Talk will search for that perfect two-second tidbit from an otherwise-forgettable 1980s one-hit-wonder to segue into his next musical idea, Super Mash Bros just abandon that altogether and instead opt for clunky, abrupt song changes.
  • These guys are nonsense Girl Talk imitators. To argue otherwise is simply absurd. It would be like saying that the Beatles impersonation act at a corner pavilion in Epcot is better than Paul, John, George, and Ringo themselves.
  • The only point I will concede is that Super Mash Bros’ mashups incorporate catchier tunes, but then again, to accomplish this feat, all they’ve really done is visited Billboard.com’s archives and searched for the top charting songs in each year, found a rap song and a rock song with the same tempo and similar BPM, and tossed them together with a humorous title.
  • I guess my main beef with Super Mash Bros is the fact that they’re considered legitimate musical artists when, in truth, they’re glorified DJs. If the “concert” was billed a “DJ set” instead, this review would be far less scathing because, in all honestly, I do find their music enjoyable, but it wasn’t—it was advertised as a concert like what a TV on the Radio or a Sufjan Stevens or another legitimate musician or group of musicians would put on.
Please feel free to comment, and don't forget to tune in LIVE to the next episode of Muzjiks on December 1 from 8-9 PM using this link.

Friday, November 20, 2009

First Post!!

Welcome listeners to the official Muzjiks Radio blog. Check back for news, playlists, and other irresistible shannanigans...