The much anticipated “children’s” film from Spike Jonze is getting all sort of hype, even before a trailer was ever released. After viewing this, it will do nothing more but to escalate any excitement. The trailer is backed by a tweaked version of Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up”, and in stunning fashion. I couldn’t help but get a ‘Neverending Story’ vibe from this (which is most welcome). Add it to the “must see” list.
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It takes a lot for any kind of hip-hop to impress me (I’m not an expert or huge fan of hip-hop by any means). I prefer the indie stylings of artists like Murs, Atmosphere, or Mr. Lif as opposed to Lil Wayne (or any other popular hip-hop for that matter). Every so often comes an amazing remix/mash-up of an artist in the indie/rock circle paired with various hip-hop acts that sounds like it was just meant to be, it turns out as natural as any original music would/should. An almost unknown artist, based out of Montreal going by the moniker Tor, decided to create the backbone of the song with various Sufjan Stevens tunes, and laying it down with the lyrics provided by various hip-hop acts (Aesop Rock, Outkast, Brother Ali, etc.). This really shouldn’t have worked, but it does. A fantastic listen. Download it for free at Tor’s website.
You can always count on the boys from Animal Collective to give you a trippy video; really, it only matches their musical stylings. Arguably the best track on Merriweather Post Pavilion, “My Girls” conjures the Beach Boys sense of melody and the technical keyboard prowess we have come to expect from AC. It’s too fitting the video looks like it was shot from the inside of a lava lamp.
If you haven’t yet, you need to listen to this album.
A couple new albums and a new discovery…
The Whitest Boy Alive – Rules
After much success with his hometown band Kings of Convenience, Erlend Oye broke away from the simplistic pop for the more dance oriented The Whitest Boy Alive (on the short list for greatest band names of the decade). Flat out, this is fun indie dance hall music. The track “1517” starts out with a familiar keyboard/bass line, one that could be tracked to Daft Punk’s “Better Faster Stronger”. If Daft Punk traded in their turn tables and vocal effects for instruments and a softer melodic tone, you have The Whitest Boy Alive. Every track has a similar tone: an almost jazzy quick note guitar riff matched with a funky disco bass-line; it’s undeniably catchy and fun. They aren’t breaking any new ground, but if this doesn’t get your feet moving and smiling, you need to check your circuitry. The album releases 3/31.
Heartless Bastards – The Mountain
Sounding like a dirty indie country version of Cat Power with a healthy mix of Jenny Lewis and Jeff Buckley (yea, whoa), Heartless Bastards‘ 3rd album has been viewed as somewhat of a departure. The band started as a 3 piece, and has added a memeber for the album, but the only remaining original member is Erika Wennerstrom. She knows how to belt it out with the best of them, showing little restraint on the album opener and title track “The Mountain“. Although, one of the best songs on the album comes when they slow it down and add some banjo and violin, “Had To Go”. They have a real hodge-podge of influences, which is what makes them so interesting and exciting to listen to.
Empire of the Sun – Walking On A Dream
The two Aussie ‘gents that formed Empire of the Sun have made a bigger splash with their new “side project” than either of their individual efforts (The Sleepy Jackson & Pnau, never heard of them? Yeeea, don’t feel bad). Often noted as being a bit pretentious (just look at that album cover, eek!), you can’t deny their ability to craft an uber catchy pop song. The obvious comparison to MGMT is apparent while hearing the first couple bars of the title song “Walking On A Dream“. The album as a whole is not built as strong as that single, it becomes convoluted with a few throw-aways, of which the album could have done without. The keepers would have probably made a solid EP, but it still remains a good debut.