Posts Tagged ‘Vampire Weekend’

Suprisingly, the future happens to be the past

So, a couple years ago, the long-held champ of the world of portable gaming found a new rival, and a new era of un-fun games came out, subsequently. The days of the simple joys of Gameboy games were gone for the fancy-shmancy gimmicks of newer systems and tricks; it was the battle of the Nintendo DS and the PSP. Both sound like they could be diseases, and for some reasons they probably both could be classified as such. Because, though they were super high tech with their 3D technology and wobbly nub-sticks and screens that get all touchy-feely, many of their games sucked or were just put out to try to sell money. By stealing some cool ideas from semi-successful games, hordes of terribly uncreative and repetitive games came out. What irked me in particular was how, well, real, the music was trying to get. They were putting full songs in their games, but they sounded pretty out of place in the handheld world.  They sounded crunched up, gasping for air. Let me out, they said.
And the years of avid Gameboy fans listened, and became musicians and are now currently out to prove us all that small sounds can still be bigger then studio-pumped up garbage. In the past few years, slowly, 8-bit music has been sneaking it’s way into the hearts and souls of it’s listeners, showing us how how the most basic, wired, electronic, savage sound can have just as much prettiness as a harpsichord and Paul McCartney harmonizing. Ooh, yeah. Sexy.

The Remixes

There’s been some experimentation with remixing with 8-bit sounds, seeing as how it was recently discovered that using zelda samples, you could rock the house in half and half again. Or that Fraggle Rock could somehow get cooler. Last night, I saw a triple-show type thing at the Satyricon, a little hole in the wall place, literally. It was almost too cool for me. Anyways, this guy  named Matthew, but stage-named Purse Candy (who hit on me after I tried to talk to him before the show, I should have known, me and Rob are the only straight, friendly guys around… Matthew kept giving me all these silly winks and air kisses. Ooh, how dreamy), started off his set with some game-boy samplers, which I though was really rad, but then his set devolved into nothing more then some owl city sounding thing. Props for looking classy, at least. Check out these sick remixes. You’ll poo yourself in excitement if you don’t.

Deadmau5- You Need A Ladder
Fraggle Rock Theme- (Skeet Skeet’s 8-Bit Adventure)

The Rethinkings

Some artists have been doing 8-bit covers of very popular songs, and getting good reception. Of course, there’s plenty of really poopy songs out there that try and fail to capture 8-bit glory, but I guess it’s harder then one would think. Check out these songs that I think are at least comparable to the originals:

>Nirvana- Smells Like Teen Spirit (8-Bit Remix)v

Bag Raiders-  Daft Punk Is Playing on My Nintendo

The Rebirth

Now, as 8-bit has proven it’s worth in the sub fields of remixes and covers, I feel 8-bit music is going to sneak it’s styles and sounds into our new artists music. In fact it already has! Back in 2007, Panda Bear released the fantastic Person Pitch, with “Good Girl/Carrots” buried as track 5, with a 12:42 track time, heavy drumming patterns with subtly building energies with layers of sound-instruments. Then, before you have time to notice it, the song morphs into the “Carrots” half, and what’s funky is that you really don’t even notice it. The tempo changes, the key and pitch changes, but Panda does it so smoothly and suddenly, it’s like it was bound to happen by natural. It’s an odd feeling to be tricked by a song, but when it happens right, it’s tasty. Anywho, you can listen to that track below if you want, but the reason I brought it up was to call attention to around 6:08 where some gameboy-reminiscent beats come in, reminding me of Nintendo glitching out, but in such a fashion that it’s extremely danceable. I always did kind of like it when CDs would skip or games would freeze and make a kinda annoying, yet catchy sound.
Franz Ferdinand then released Tonight, which was pretty electronic for the Franzies, and if you listen to the track “Twilight Omens”, the opening hook thing is ripped straight from an Atari. Good, tasty, adventure music.
However, most recently there’s even been some suspicious work going on in the world of 8-bit sounds. Vampire Weekend’s fantastic new album (which you should go get, by the way. If you don’t like it at first, try it again and really listen or dance or whatever, and you will) features a track called “Diplomat’s Son”  towards the end of the album. It starts out as what you might come to expect from them, sounding completely afro-beat, with dancing string instruments, however featuring a sample of M.I.A.’s “Bucky Done Gun”, and then…. wait for it… 8-bit sounds! For Vampire Weekend, having M.I.A. in a song, plus using such a nice, clean electronic beat was very unexpected. But, keep listening and one find the songs surprises once again, as the song breaks down to a Brooklyn-style drumming section sounding like the most indie gameboy I’ve ever heard, like vampire weekend turns momentarily into a jump-roping rhyme mini-game on Looney Tunes Olympics or some shiz. Interesting, interesting, I like.
But then, one more odd thing about all this 8-bit craze recently. This part is very intriguing, indeed. A new M.I.A track! Let me say that again, in case you have that bad of memory: A NEW MIA TRACK! It’s called “There’s Space For Ol Dat I See”. …And guess what kind of beat it has? Yes. You win. I think it was made with that Playstation 1 beat-making game. I wish I was kidding. No I don’t. I really think it is. This track is large, space-sized, space-oriented, lo-fi, super dancable, kinda bollywood-y, and M.I.A. sings! The last minute of the song totally dissolves into gameboy filth. Tasty, tasty filth. If you don’t listen to any other songs on here, listen to this one. It kinda makes me see a connection between where dubstep is going and where electronic in general is going. Who knew something so simple could be so fat?!  Her new album’s still not out till May, but this is a precious morsel. Dear reader, do take in mind how both Vampire Weekend’s new song, and M.I.A.’s new song have gameboy sounds in them and those awesome break-beat parts of gameboy rock and roll, not to mention Vampire Weekend sampling M.I.A. in their song. Coincidence? I hope not.

Panda Bear- Good Girl/Carrots

Vampire Weekend- Diplomat’s Son

M.I.A.- There’s Space For Ol Dat I See


First new Gorillaz track from their upcoming album, Plastic Beach:  Gorillaz- Stylo


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Wednesdays sometimes require a certain kind of disciple and dedication. It’s the farthest day you can be from the weekend, and I know that as soon as I wake up, that fact stares me straight in the face. Realizing that I have the option, if I really wanted to, to just stay in bed and sleep for ever and ever, I am almost defeated. It doesn’t help that I have a mattress pad that feels like a cloud filled with pure happiness, or that my comforter knows exactly just what temperature I’m most comfortable in, or that my pillow is one of those memory foam ones that conforms to the shapes of my head. It sure as hell doesn’t help that I didn’t get to sleep till four in the morning and my time of waking was supposed to be just three hours later. At that point, I allow myself the luxury that is Americanized sleep for just five more minutes (okay, maybe another hour…), but I don’t really sleep. I use this time to try my best to remember my dreams, to give myself a little guidance in the upcoming unknown day, and I use that time to reflect on all of the wonderful places and things I did in the day that came before this horrid Wednesday morning. I remember the friends I met, the souls I warmed, the ideas I encouraged, the lovers I made, the music I created, and the time I spent. None of this happened to anyone else on the Earth on that day; all of that happened because I made  conscious decisions that no one else could make, and because of that, I really enjoyed my day. Now, I get to thinking- what makes this day, Wednesday, any different from any other day? Is there anything really different about today then yesterday? Sure it may be a bit colder, sure it may be a different named day according to us silly humans, but all in all, it’s a day that holds just as much possibility as the one that came before it. It’s up to us to do something, take advantage of that fact that we are alive yet another day, and do what we think is good. And with this knowledge, and this playlist, I got up today, ready to spin some more destiny to more unsuspecting souls.

I’m up for the challenge- are you guys?
PS: First new vampire weekend track is in! Check it!

HumpDay Playlist:

1) Animal CollectiveTaste
2) Grizzly BearTwo Weeks
3) Led ZeppelinTangerine
4) Modest Mouse- Gravity Rides Everything
5) Menomena- Wet And Rustling
6) Volcano Choir- Island, IS
7) Blitzen TrapperWild Mountain Nation
8 ) Deerhunter- Game of Diamonds
9) Vampire Weekend- White Sky
10) Edward Sharp & The Magnetic ZerosHome
11) Animal Collective- For Reverend Green
12) Animal Collective- Fireworks

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So, from the looks of it, 2010 is going to be one of the biggest years in music in a while. Forces are gathering, bidding their time, and I feel a plethora of musical alchemy building and waiting to be released on us foolish listeners. All of my many, many faithful readers might be thinking “I’ve heard THAT one before… It’s just gonna be another year in music…” and perhaps it is. It always will be, so there’s no point in arguing that. The fact of the matter is that, whether we like it or not, we are gonna be getting a lot of either gold-or-miss material from so many fantastic bands from every which genre. So without further ado, here’s 2010’s HOT LIST, so far:

1) MGMTCongratulations :  Ah, MGMT. How we’ve all waited with fingers crossed and hearts heavy for more of your spiritual guidance. At first, MGMT seemed like a silly band, especially looking back at the pre-MGMT days as the Management and their songs about four winged dinosaurs. However, anyone who’s anyone that has listened to their fantasmical debut Oracular Spectacular, knows that this is a band with outrageous potential. It’s been ages in internet time since they’ve updated anyone, and I believe at this point that they are going for a more mysterious aura; they’re trying to show us that only they can define themselves. The only clues we’ve gotten as to where their music might be heading on the thought-provokingly titled Congratulations have been snippets of just-being-formed songs at concerts and the only official new single since Oracular, “Metanoia.” However, if any of these things are even a slight indication, where the band is headed musicaly, be excited. Be very excited. It sounds like they’re morphing into a Pink Floyd-sounding (but still their own) band, complete with sprawling sounds, random samples, howling harmonies and just as many catchy hooks as ever. Now, don’t get me wrong, the band we’ve all grown to love still has their randomness and unorthodoxy that we’re all so fond of, but they’re allowing themselves to expand as a band where they need it, and I’m very sure they know where they need to step back. Look for Congratulations in the first quarter of 2010.

2) LCD SoundsystemUntitled:  It’s been far too long since we’ve heard from older then would be expected do-it-all man, James Murphy. He is the driving force behind LCD Soundsystem, which, in all honesty, is the basis of all compare for any electronic album nowadays. I don’t blame him for taking so long to give us loyal fans a snippet, because he does so freaking much, what with being married, being co-founder of DFA Records, and being kinda old. He’s been in bands-a-plenty, produced more then his fair share of solid gold for other bands, almost was a key writer for Seinfeld, and has been DJing for god knows how long. Oh yeah, and he hand crafted the genius that was LCD Soundsystem’s self-titled debut, and the critically acclaimed follow up, Sound of Silver. If for some dumb reason you haven’t heard SoS, go get it right now. Go. I’ll wait. James has been said to been working in LA over the past summer on this album, with rumored song names to be “Why Do You Hate Music?” and “Love in LA”. The new disc should drop early 2010, so keep your ears peeled, you don’t want to miss this one.
~45:33 (Padded Cell Remix)
~ Daft Punk is Playing at my House
~ Someone Great

3) JusticeUntitled: AHHHHHH! FUCKING JUSTICE! After their very creative debut album, Cross, and the following documentary/live album A-Cross The Universe, Justice are ready to come back, and hopefully bigger then ever. As of late, their recent remixes have had the Justice feel, but lacked anything substantially cool- I still enjoyed them, but perhaps it’s only because I’m a fan. They recently sold their soul and remixed for U2’s new album, which was okay, but U2 and Justice should NEVER MIX (You hear me, internet? Good. Take care of it.). However, they probably recieved a huge 6-figure sum to make it, so I can’t blame them for not turning it down. It takes big money to make that big Justice sound. If they can somehow make their ear-rattling sound evolve, without sounding too repetitive or just relying on old tricks, I’m sure their new album will be fine. Not much is known about it yet, really, besides the fact it’s being made, somewhere, with a release date sometime, presumably early 2010.
~Electric Feel (Justice Remix)

4)Vampire WeekendContra: It’s kinda funny. When Vampire Weekend first hit the scene way back in 2006, it was cool to even know about them. Alas, the blogosphere is a cruel place, and now I’ve met many a weary soul that say they hate Vampire Weekend. Now, I can tell that’s not true, cause when they say that, their eyes glance away and I swear the expression on their faces says “Oh, please forgive me Ezra, I don’t mean it, you know that. You know that no one may know of our undying love! It’s too soon!” Well, rest easier tonight, oh hidden Vampire Weekend lovers, for with the release of Contra, you may proudly start singing all the songs you’ve no doubt completely memorized. Still don’t wanna give in? How about this: when Vampire Weekend first started, they themselves, said that they sucked. They themselves said they didn’t really have massive musical skills, but instead they had an intense longing and drive to make music that came from deep inside them. And it shows in their style. They know how to stretch out the scales just enough to tickle your ear bones, and Ezra Koenig’s voice reaches some very beautiful place, all while sounding very natural. For white kids who grew up in the better parts of America, they sure sound like they might come from Africa, and for being so young, they sure do sound like Paul Simon at times. The new album has not been leaked yet, as opposed to the last which was leaked so early it almost broke the band. The only thing we know at this point is the tracklisting, and the main cover, which this time features a very stoned-looking lady, perhaps the hinted at Contra? Oh, and the mysterious clip, only titled “Contra Teaser.” Though it’s not much to go off of, I like the feeling of it. The album drops January 12th in the U.S. of A.

  1. “Horchata”
  2. “White Sky”
  3. “Holiday”
  4. “California English”
  5. “Taxi Cab”
  6. “Run”
  7. “Cousins”
  8. “Giving Up The Gun”
  9. “Diplomat’s Son”
  10. “I Think Ur A Contra”

Contra Teaser

The best of ze rest:

The Shins- Untitled

The KlaxonsUntitled


The GorillazUntitled

Julian LennonEverything Changes

Red Hot Chili Peppers- 10th Album

The Offspring9th Studio Album

Stone Temple PilotsUntitled

“Weird Al’ YankovichInternet Leaks

The Streets- Computers and Blues

Hot Chip- Untitled

HansonOh, god, why?

Flobots- with Mario Caldato

Kings of Leon- Untitled

High School Musical 4 Soundtrack- NO NO NO NO (yet sadly true…)

GorillazElectric Shock Demo
The Klaxons- No Diggity (Blackstreet Cover)
Ratatat- Mirando (Animal Collective Remix)

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