Friday's Grab Bag


Most of my suggestions this week are in tribute to the Brushfire tour burning its way through Vancouver this week. Jack Johnson is playing Burnaby with singer/songwriter Matt Costa, and hippie favorites ALO.

some live songs ep - Brushfire records
Five of the six songs on this EP were recorded on Kelly Slater's radio show K-OS. Mixing business with pleasure, Jack, G. Love and Donovan uses their surf creds to help promote the new Brushfire albums. The result is some great collaborations on some crowds favorites. Zach Gill(from ALO) tosses in some great accordian solos, to make these classic tracks a new twist. The highlight of the EP is the live version (recorded in Boston, MA) of Girl I Wanna Lay You Down. Jack and Zach deliver a great version of this ALO song that has been sung for years by Zach and crew. Funny, and funky - this song completes an EP that any fan of Jack, G. Love or Donavon should own. Only no-golden moment is the bonus track where G. Love gets his superhero blues on.

Fly Between Falls - ALO
Speaking of ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra), Zach and crew released another new album, entitled Fly between Falls. ALO brings some funk and R&B; to the scene. Similar to Galactic on several tracks, ALO is sure to get anyone wearing pechouli oil and homemade pants dancing. It's a great summer album, with a good variety of songs, and obligatory songs about smoking the green. Sure this is hippie esque music, but it gets you chinning, and in the end isn't that what counts? My favorite track is Spectrum. This will be a staple on any summer mix tapes, and could easily surface in some upcoming movie soundtracks.

Different names for the same thing - Death Cab for Cutie
Already the hatred has started and the album hasn't even been released. Apparently jumping to a major has turned indie rock idol Ben Gibbard, Chris Walla and crew from chosen ones to outcasts. Forget the fact they stuck with Barsuk forever, jumping ship to a major has turned hipsters against DCFC.

I have read the reviews that are surfacing, calling Ben a dick, saying the album is nothing special, wondering why we have Transatlantism 2, blah blah blah. The two songs I have heard off this album rock. This is the second one. After a emotional three-minute build up (that I will admit sounds like the last album a bit), the electro blips, the pounding drums and melodic sounds come in and you are left thinking one thing - Death Cab are channeling PHIL COLLINS. It sounds unreal. Don't be put off by the haters out there. This album is going to have some of DCFC's best material ever on it.

Cool Calm Pete - Lost: The Album
Cool Calm Pete is the most un-Korean sounding Queens NY bred MC in the game today. But the fact that he's Korean is strictly a footnote, as this alumnus of the same Queens High School that produced Organized Konfusion and Mobb Deep has created a very cool hip hop album here. And he did indeed create it himself, handling both the production and MC duties. The laidback but serious opener, Lost, is a quality intro to Pete's measured rhyme style. Whether he's talking about hip hop, the day to day grind of NYC, or getting freaky with the ladies, he never gets too excited (the BDK fast-rap stylings of windsprints being an exception). But it's not boring either, he's got the charisma, so he keeps your interest. The beats here can be described somewhat the same; they aren't going to blow you away, but they aren't boring and they suit his flow. He favours dusty drum loops and piano stabs, so no complaints here. I was surprised by how good this album was, check it out for yourself.

Count Bass D - Begborrowsteel
The Count is the finest MC/Producer working out of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. I don't actually know this for a fact, he's just the only MC/Producer I know of from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Mr. Bass D's beats are heavily influenced by 80's and early 90's R&B; and he pulls vocal samples from all kinds of crazy sources. He mixes instrumental songs in with his MC'd jams, and doesn't usually have a catchy hook for the chorus. But if you're a fan of Dwight Spitz like me, then Begborrowsteel is more of what you're looking for. It's listed at 16 songs, but it's really an EP as many of the tracks are short and there's some instrumental interludes in the mix. Count's no nonsense underground flow is used well on The Mingus Sextet and Drug Abusage but he actually sings to good effect on Down Easy (first post break-up song to include the line "You're my Kate and I'm you're Allie, You're my Cagney and I'm your Lacey"). Plus New Edition Karaoke features Count crooning various New Edition Songs, what more do you need?


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