Hey kids! Another week, more music.
Cut Chemist is the DJ who provided turntable work for Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli, as well as appearing several times with fellow turntablists like Dan the Automator and DJ Shadow. He’s got his first solo record out now, which I haven’t picked up yet, but it did remind me to post this track, which is not only my favorite of his, but also, in my opinion, the best example of turntable DJ’ing as art — taking snippets, samples and loops from other recordings, and turning them into a collage of sound that creates new art. This is an amazing piece which never fails to get me moving, his solo track on the Jurassic 5 album “Quality Control” — a post-modern look at the popular music of the 30s and 40s: Cut Chemist – “Swing Set.”
The new album from Muse, “Black Holes & Revelations” is abso-fucking-lutely brilliant. I’ve been listening to it nonstop since buying it. Here’s a sample from it…rumor has it that the entire album was leaked to the internet…by the band itself. The leaked files are the whole album….but in mono, rather than stereo. I listened, and it was enough to make me log on to the iTunes music store and buy the sucker….so the marketing plan worked. The album sounds like what you’d get if you mixed Radiohead, ELO and Queen. Here’s the first track, which is a scathing criticism of either George Bush or Tony Blair (depending on whom you ask). Again, sorry that this is mono….but it was too good not to share: Muse – “Take A Bow.”
Another entry in the “guilty-pleasure operatic metal” category, again from the band Demons & Wizards. The main guitar riffs are what sold me, but then when the double-pedal kick drum comes in, I get pulled in deeper. By the time that the nearly Queen-esque harmonies soar on the refrain, I’m a full-on fanboy. Demons & Wizards – “Dorian.”
I haven’t posted a mash-up in a while, and I found this one recently, which I liked quite a bit. The mix is done really well — the DJ plays around with it a bit, rather than simply relying on “vocals A plus instrumentals B.” Run DMC vs Metallica – “Tricky Sandman.”
Attention Fangirls — prepare to Squeee: James “Spike” Marsters has released a solo album, and it’s actually not too bad. As anyone who has seen the “Once More With Feeling” episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer can tell you, the boy can actually sing. I heard the lead single from it earlier this week, and decided to share: James Marsters – “Civilized Man.”
Here’s a track from The Crystal Method which has been used for commercials, oddly enough. Of course, when Advertisers use it, they drop the main sample of “Listen, All you Motherfuckers!!!” Although, personally, if they kept that in, I’d be more likely to remember the commercial….The Crystal Method – “Name of the Game.”
Mike Patton, the lead singer for Faith No More….and Mr. Bungle….and Fantomas….has yet another project he’s working on, which I learned about in last month’s issue of FutureMusic magazine. It’s dark, electronic-based alternative/pop, recorded under the name Peeping Tom. This track is brilliant — and features Nora Jones with him on the refrains, completely outside of her usual crystal-clear jazz-singer box, being sexy, breathy and vulgar. Love the lyrics on this. Peeping Tom – “Sucker.”
I’m fairly sure that I may have posted this before, way back at the start of Friday Music….but I’ve got quite a few more readers now, so it’s worth posting again. This is one of my favorite tracks from Zero 7’s first album, “Simple Things.” Everything about it is wonderful, from the production to the composition to the…well, you get the idea. Listen. Zero 7 – “I Have Seen.”
I’ll close with a track from the same album as the first track — Jurassic 5’s “Quality Control” — this time featuring the rappers with the DJ. This is my all-time favorite J5 track, because it spotlights everything that is great about them. Unusual sample sources, vocal harmonies, incredible verbal dexterity and genuinely clever lyrics. Jurassic 5 – “The Influence.”
There ya go.