Friday Music

This week:

The soundtrack to AMC’s Mad Men has finally been released, filled with a bunch of period jewels, a couple of background score tracks, and of course, the wonderful theme: RJD2 and Aceyalone – “Beautiful Mine.”

Going with the hipster vibe for a bit, here’s a track from the sadly now-defunct Montreal acid jazz outfit Kobayashi. Acid Jazz, for those curious, is a relatively new form of the art, mixing jazz, soul, funk, hip-hop and electronica. LOVE this stuff. Kobayashi – “Shasta.”

I’ve recently been re-discovering the album that sparked my headfirst dive into electronic music, back in 1992. I was working at the local NPR station (KANU) at the time, and we would get lots of discs sent to us — mostly classical and jazz, naturally. When we’d get extras, or we’d get a “WTF? Why did we get this?” disc, it would go on the table outside the booth, free for any staff to grab. This album as a clear case of “WTF?”, which left my aging hippie boomer co-workers quite puzzled. There was a sticker on the disc which proudly declared “No Instruments Were Played On This Record.” I listened — and everything changed.

Here are the first two tracks, as I heard them:

Utah Saints – “Something Good.” From a opening sample of the announcer at a Kiss concert, to an entire melody crafted from Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights” — this grabbed me.

…followed by a stomper built around a sample of a guitar riff from Slayer: Utah Saints – “I Want You.”

Their follow-up album, Two wasn’t released for 7 years. I’ve got it, but by that point, I was recording electronica of my own, and so the music didn’t have the revelatory power of that first taste in 92.

Canadian singer Anjulie does indie RnB pop in the Duffy/Winehouse/Bitter:Sweet retro vein. She has a full-length debut coming out this year. Her EP, Boom is currently available from all the usual sources. Anjulie – “Boom.”

Lastly, for The Minion, the track from one of her favorite cinematic masterpieces, Nickelodeon’s GoodBurger. Some passable Third-Wave Ska revival from Less Than Jake, fronted in this case by Kel Mitchell’s Spicoli-esque character, Ed. Who can argue with the lyrical brilliance of: “I’m a dude, he’s a dude, she’s a dude, we’re all dudes, Yeah!” That’s deep, man. Less Than Jake (feat. Kel Mitchell) – “We’re All Dudes.”


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