VIDEO: M+A’s “Bam”

M+A ‘Bam’ from monotreme records on Vimeo.

M+A new album, things.yes, was released this past Tuesday (my review can be found here), and the Italian duo have made a video for “Bam”. This description is as easy as it gets, but the video and music is not. What does that mean? Find out for yourself.

The album is available on vinyl, and the trendy CD and MP3 formats.

SOME STUFFS: G-Side drop a loaf of “iSLAND”

If you haven’t heard of G-Side, you’re not alone. Even Michael Jackson knew this, but you can change this. This hip-hop duo have been busy recording a number of tracks, and this video represents one of them. Their album is called iSLAND and will be released on 11/11/11, which is also when they’ll start a tour in support of the album. Where? Here:
11/11 – Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone Cafe (record release show) !
11/18 -Tuscaloosa, AL @ Green Bar
11/30 – Montevallo, AL @ Eclipse
12/1 – Greensboro, NC @ Studio B
12/2 – Baltimore, MD @ Club Hippo
12/4 – Washington, DC @ DC9
12/5 – Philadelphia, PA @ Club Fluid
12/6 – Brooklyn, NY – BrooklynVegan Presents @ Glasslands Gallery #
12/8 – Buffalo, NY @ Broadway Joe’s
12/10 – Ann Arbor, MI @ TBA
12/11 – Detroit, MI @ The Majestic
12/13 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle ^
12/14 – Nashville, IL @ The End
12/16 – Los Angeles, CA @ FYF Presents: Venue TBA
12/20 San Francisco, CA @ Yours Truly Presents @ The Independent $

! = w/ Cities Aviv
# = w/ Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire & Cities Aviv
^ = w/ YP
$ = w/ DaVinci & Main Attrakionz

If you like the video and go to see them live, pick up the album soon after. Go ahead.

VIDEO: Band Of Skulls’ “The Devil Takes Care of His Own”

Band Of Skulls is a cool sounding name, but wait until you hear what they sound like. They are capable of creating an abrasive style of rock that can be bluesy and sultry, but do it with a pinch of pop that shows they are in full control of what they’re doing.

But perhaps they’re being controlled by another power, something a bit more demonic. Eh, maybe not but it makes up for a good story for their ode to television music performances, “The Devil Takes Care Of His Own”, and he does. The band will be releasing their sophomore album next year, called Sweet Sour (Electric Blues), but due to a number of licensing agreements they’ve been making (read “the old means of promoting music via radio and MTV are dead, so they have to promote themselves in a big way somehow), you’ll be hearing a lot of them in movie trailers and television shows. On top of this, the group will be going on tour in 2012 beginning at the SXSW convention, so catch them as they hit the road with support help from We Are Augustines:

13-Mar TUE Austin, TX Antone’s
16-Mar FRI Houston, TX Fitzgerald’s
17-Mar SAT Dallas, TX Granada Theater
19-Mar MON Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse
20-Mar TUE Nashville, TN Cannery Ballroom
22-Mar THU New York, NY Webster Hall
23-Mar FRI Philadelphia, PA Union Transfer
24-Mar SAT Washington, DC 9:30 Club
26-Mar MON Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club
27-Mar TUE Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg
28-Mar WED Providence, RI The Met
30-Mar FRI Toronto, ONT Phoenix Concert Theatre
31-Mar SAT Montreal, QC Corona Theatre
2-Apr MON Detroit, MI St. Andrew’s Hall
3-Apr TUE Chicago, IL House of Blues
4-Apr WED Minneapolis, MN Fine Line
6-Apr FRI Denver, CO Ogden Theatre
7-Apr SAT Salt Lake City, UT The Complex (Grand Room)
9-Apr MON Seattle, WA Neptune
10-Apr TUE Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom
11-Apr WED Portland, OR Dante’s
12-Apr THU San Francisco, CA The Fillmore

VIDEO: Childish Gambino hype up “Black nerds”

Donald Glover is promoting his brand new hip-hop album under the name Childish Gambino, and he made a stop at Hot97 to speak on what “Black nerds” are, as it seems some people aren’t aware of them. Find out, if you’re someone who doesn’t know.

His debut full length album will be out on November 15th, and I’ll have a review next week.

FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD: Walter Rose’s “Head For The Hills”

Walter Rose is from Carmel, California and definitely owes a bit to the California sound that many music fans loved when it dominated the scene in the first half of the 1970’s. Now fans will be able to feel a bit of that rustic-but-trusted vibe on his forthcoming debut album Cast Your Stone, scheduled for release on January 17, 2012. The album was produced by Eric Liljestrand, known for his extensive work on Lucinda Williams‘ albums. In fact, the album has Rose backed by her band, and Williams steps in for a duet in the track “Driving South”, so it’s sure to get a lot of attention for that in the new year. You can listen to the album in its entirety by clicking the Bandcamp player below (or click here if the player is not showing up), but you’ll be able to download “Head For The Hills” for free, for a limited time.

Walter Rose – Head For The Hills by fanaticpro

RECORD CRACK: P.S. I Love You – New Edition’s “If It Isn’t Love”

To say “the full impact of this song and video continues to this day” is not embellishment, and the photo of the group on this picture sleeve is the proof.

New Edition had been pushed as being “the next Jackson 5” from the beginning, for they were five young kids, based out of Boston, who not only had the great vocals, but had catchy songs to prove it. “Candy Girl”, “Popcorn Love”, “Is It The End”, “Cool It Now” and “Mr. Telephone” were all massive hits on the R&B charts, with “Cool It Now” making a small but significant dent on the pop charts. When Ralph Tresvant busted out with a surprise rap during the song’s second half, it immediately showed how they were a generation apart from the Jackson 5, that these were 80’s kids who loved that new “urban music”. The video was edited in a way where, when Tresvant spoke about Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike, you began to feel more of a collective attitude amongst them, and an individual side too. When “Mr. Telephone Man”, that brought Boby Brown to the forefront. His voice was lower and that would change the perception of who would become the big star from the group. After wanting a much bigger role in the group and having disputes with how that was being handled, Brown was confident to leave the group and start his solo career, with “Girlfriend” and “Girl Next Door” bringing him to the forefront of the next phase of soul/R&B in the late 80’s. But it would be his second album that would make him a superstar.

That would lead to a few New Edition albums were Brown was clearly on the cover, but he chose to not participate in the videos for singles that were on it. Those albums, supervised by then-manager Maurice Starr, included a Christmas album and a record of classic soul and R&B songs. Perhaps the idea suited Starr more than New Edition themselves, maybe the idea was that it would be listened to by the parents or grandparents of their fans, or maybe it was a bit of damage control to show the group was nice and clean, compared to some of Brown’s public disputes at the time. The internal battles would eventually lead the group to give manager Starr the boot, which coincided with the group being adults and wanting to show a more refined sound that wasn’t based on bubble-gum soul. For that, they returned the group to a quintet when they brought in Washington, DC vocalist Johnny Gill, who had released two albums on Atlantic. Gill’s success was limited to the East Coast and parts of the midwest, it did not give him a name just yet but his entry in New Edition would change that. Then to push the new era of New Edition, they hired two of the hottest producers in music at the time, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, to put together their “grown” album. They realized their success with Janet Jackson had turned her from being the young Jackson sister and “Penny” from Good Times, to Janet, Miss Jackson only if you were nasty. The formula was created, and now it was time to put it into gear.

MCA Records came out with “If It Isn’t Love” as the first single off of Heart Break, featuring a music video that showed the group about to go into a studio to practice their dance moves for a possible performance. In time, we see that they are polished, the routine is tight, and they eventually run towards the stage. When fans saw this, with a sound that seemed so far ahead from their “Candy Girl” days, people went nuts. It wasn’t kids trying to sound grown up, these were grown ups ready to rock the world. When people went to the store to buy the single, it came with this picture sleeve.

The look was new, it was def, it was fresh, it was “now”. It introduced Johnny Gill to the group, and the swagger each of them had was their way of saying “look at us. We’re young, we’re bad ass, we’re clean. Ladies, it’s time to dig us legitimately.” This wasn’t graduation, this was a sign of achievement and success, and you had to slap on that 45 to hear what that sounded like, even though you could see the video over and over. When Heart Break was released, it would renew their status as one of the best vocal groups of the 80’s, if not ever.

One thing fans may not realize is that Heart Break and Don’t Be Cruel were released on the same day: June 20, 1988. For me, my days in high school were over, and I was about to move on with the world as a grown-up. I’m sure New Edition had that in mind too with their fans, who were of all ages but many of them were growing up along with the group. Their successes may have been distinctly different, and most likely it was Brown who did everything to prove a point: that he could be a star on his own and that HE was the star of the group. New Edition had everything to prove too, and they were not going to slow down their mission without a fight. If anything, it was a friendly challenge and fans liked both sides. Gill was able to show how different his vocals were from Brown’s and Tresvant’s, with co-leads in “Can You Stand The Rain” and “N.E. Heartbreak”, and his presence with the group showed he coudl fit in with their style and finesse without a problem.

It may have been a renewal for New Edition, but it was merely a continuation of their talents, leading to bigger success for the group as a whole and individually (especially Bivins, who would not only help to form Bell Biv DeVoe with “the other” New Edition members, but would have his own production team and record label, which would lead to the discovery and success of Boyz II Men. When I look at this picture sleeve, I see a group about to walk down a path of incredible music and success for the next few years.

SOME STUFFS / RECORD CRACK: Codeine catalog to be reissued by The Numero Group

Codeine were highly celebrated in their day for their dramatic sounds some critics called “slowcore”, but it was partly due to the fact that while a lot of people were trying to be grungy, Red Hot Chili Peppers-ish, or anyone else that was hot on MTV at the time, they were going elsewhere. Their music has since influenced a number of bands, so as a means of allowing fans to rediscover them, The Numero Group are reissuing their entire Sub Pop output, with tons of bonus tracks.

Frigid Stars (1990), Barely Real (1992) and The White Birch (1994) are still discussed today by fans and those who remember their sound, but they’ve been out of print for years. The addition of bonus tracks is sure to get older fans to re-purchase them again. Vinyl junkies will be able to buy each LP with a CD as part of the packaging, and then a limited edition “ultra deluxe box” will house all three LP’s so you can have them all in one crack.

Here are the bonus tracks for each album:

Frigid Stars
11. Castle (Afternoon Delight compilation)
12. Three Angels (Previously unreleased)
13. Skeletons (Previously unreleased)
14. Corner Store (Previously unreleased)
15. Squid (Previously unreleased)
16. Summer Dresses (Previously unreleased)
17. Pickup Song (Demo, Previously unreleased)
18. Pea (Alternate)
19. Second Chance (B-side of D 7″)
20. D (Live, Yo Yo A Go Go compilation)
21. A L’Ombre De Nous (Split 7″ with Bastro)

Barely Real
7. Media (Peel Session, Previously unreleased)
8. We’re dead (Peel Session, Previously unreleased)
9. Realize (Live, Previously unreleased)
10. Hydroplane (Live Unrest cover, Previously unreleased)
11. I Wonder (Previously unreleased)
12. Cracked In Two (Revolution compilation)
13. Jr (Instrumental, Previously unreleased)
14. Broken-Hearted Wine (B-side of Realize 7″)

The White Birch
10. Ides (Alternate version, Working Holiday compilation)
11. Smoking Room (Demo, Previously unreleased)
12. Atmosphere (Joy Division cover, A Means To An End compilation)
13. 2 Faced Man (Suicide cover, Your Invitation To Suicide compilation)
14. Loss Leader (Peel Session, Previously unreleased)
15. Something New (B-side to Tom 7″)
16. Wird (Demo, Previously unreleased)

You want more of a reason to celebrate? The original Codeine lineup are reuniting in 2012 for a small handful of concerts in the U.S. and Europe, including a show at All Tomorrow’s Parties (May 25-27, 2012) in London.