VIDEO/FREE DOWNLOAD: Malkovich & P.U.D.G.E.’s “Lethal Vice”

Normally, I’m not into trailers or preview videos, but when it works great, I want to shine the spotlight. The main man Malkovich continues to work like crazy, and bring that together with P.U.D.G.E.? You now have Lethal Vice. The video works as a “highlight reel” where it’s not one song, but a series of small clips meant to represent the EP. If you love damn good hip-hop, carefully organized instrumentals, or salute anything that has to do with the Gershwin B.L.X. way of life (and if you didn’t, you should have), check out Lethal Vice.

For more of P.U.D.G.E.’s work, go through his Bandcamp page.
For Malkovich, he can be found at

SOME STUFFS: Conduits can do it with their debut album, and tour to follow

The moment you mention the word “shoegaze” when it comes to music, you have people making dreamy poopoo pedals within your vicinity. Go ahead, try it and come back here.

See? Now, if they do this and you tell them Conduits, they may not know the name just yet. But by the end of the year, mention “Conduits” to them and you’ll drippy Grey Poupon-like yellowness at their feet, for this is a group that have taken the shoegaze madness/mayhem/mumbai into their hands, or at least that’s what they’re hoping to do when they release their self-titled debut album.

This group are from Omaha, Nebraska, not the first city you would mention when talking about bands like Lush or My Bloody Valentine but they want to change that perception, and helping them to change things are Team Love, who will be releasing the album on March 20th. Soonafter, they will go on tour to bring the album to live on stage, with Cursive and Cymbals Eat Guitars, which means it’s a CCC Tour Package of sorts. This is where they’ll be:
Mar-22 Iowa City, IA The Mill
Mar-23 Minneapolis, MN 400 Bar
Mar-24 Madison, WI High Noon
Mar-25 Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall
Mar-26 Champaign, IL High Dive
Mar-27 Ann Arbor, MI Blind Pig
Mar-28 Pittsburgh, PA Mr. Smalls
Mar-29 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
Mar-30 Buffalo, NY Mohawk
Mar-31 Toronto, ONT Horseshoe Tavern
Apr-02 Boston, MA Middle East (Downstairs)
Apr-03 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
Apr-04 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
Apr-05 Philadelphia, PA Union Transfer
Apr-06 Washington, DC Black Cat
Apr-07 Raleigh, NC Kings Barcade
Apr-08 Atlanta, GA The Earl
Apr-09 St. Augustine, FL Café Eleven
Apr-10 Orlando, FL The Social
Apr-11 Tallahassee, FL Club Downunder
Apr-13 Houston, TX Fitzgeralds
Apr-14 Austin, TX Mohawk
Apr-15 Dallas, TX Trees
Apr-17 Memphis, TN Hi Tone
Apr-18 Lexington, KY Cosmic Charlies
Apr-20 St. Louis, MO Off Broadway
Apr-21 Columbia, MO Mojos

Here’s a song called “Top Of The Hill” (5.48mb), a hint of what’s on their debut. (NOTE: This MP3 has been approved for free distribution, download at will and feel free to share.)

VIDEO: Re-Surch’s “Wayland’s Boy (Sam Adams Diss)”

I am not sure why Re-Surch would dis a beer or the mayor of Portland, Oregon, but maybe you’ll know when you hear “Wayland’s Boy (Sam Adams Diss)”.

If you know, please post your answer. No prizes will be given out.

(In truth, this has nothing to do with Portland’s mayor or a beer, although a beer reference is made in the song. It’s an attack against Boston MC Sam Adams.)

VIDEO: Rusty Redenbacher’s “Iron Man Monster Factory”

While I follow the man on Twitter and he’s always saying something interesting, I somehow forgot to place the new video by Rusty Redenbacher on my site, so here it is. This is a track from his forthcoming project The Tinkerer, which will be released this Tuesday (January 31st). Redenbacher multiplies himself in this one, see and hear what happens.

REVIEW/RECORD CRACK: The Caretaker’s “Patience (After Sebald)”

Photobucket Going over a blogger’s “Best Albums Of 2011” list for a month, I’ve been looking to see and discover what music I have not heard of, and one of the more interesting projects is one that goes by the name The Caretaker. His name is Jim Kirby, but as The Caretaker, his music has been described as “stolen memories and feelings from within the Haunted Ballroom. Acting as a conduit between spirits and the human world his music is heroic, tragic, dark and light all at the same time.” Pretty freaky, huh?

Upon discovering the album he created last year, I found out about one that is brand new, and it’s called Patience (After Sebald) (History Always Favours The Winners). Kirby continues to release music under a wide range of pseudonyms, but for this album, his music sounds like it comes from a wide range of sources. What I hear in “Approaching the outer limits of our solar system” could very well be a church organ played over the sound of a waterfall slowed down and recorded at a low bit rate. “When the dog days were drawing to an end” could be someone entering a school cafeteria as the cook plays a piano melody, or it might be taken from an old 78 played at 33, with a few bars looped over and over and in the process becomes a modern dream trying to hold the hand of many dreams of the past. In “Now the night is over and the dawn is about to break” which closes the album, upon hearing slowed down voices, it could be one’s audio vision of a heaven, or merely entering something so haunting that it might lead you to overdose on ludes.

What The Caretaker does is very plunderphonics in nature, you may not be familiar with the sounds as is but something tells you that you may have heard these elements, or something similar in this life. Maybe for some of you, a previous life or one that may define your DNA. Or it’s simply a way to create something unique from what was forgotten and discarded, not like a lot of music from the last 25 years, but in a way that will make you want to hear more of what he has to offer.

(Patience (After Sebald) is currently available on vinyl exclusively from Boomkat. CD version can be pre-ordered from Boomkat by clicking here.)

REVIEW: Phil Jr./Bad Best Friend’s “split cassette” (EP)

Photobucket Someone in my Twitter timeline gave a bit of praise to her friend, and being the occasionally curious person I am when it comes to things like this, I decided to click. What I saw was a link to a “digital cassette”, and it provided a link to a Tumblr page, and I decided to check it out. I’m glad I did.

Phil Jr. consists of someone named Phil and a lady named Lindsay. I’m not sure if Phil Jr. consists of Phil Jr. himself and Lindsay is a guest, or that both of them are “Phil Jr.” but together they recorded four songs. Some of it sounds like long lost cassettes discovered in a shoebox, or maybe found on the bottom of the teddy bear section at a thrift store, but the recordings could have been done in 1991, 1997, 2006, or last night, maybe on a cassette with some other music. There’s tape hiss, there’s mean hits of echo and reverb, some of it sounds like it was piped in with a DQ speaker.

Then there’s Bad Best Friend, but it’s hard to say where Phil Jr. begins and ends, especially if you’re not conscious of what songs are playing at any given time. A song that sounds like it was recorded in a bathroom shower and/or garage then leads into a radio station sequence, as if someone said “you know what, I want to play over some ELO today.” The “cassette” ends with a bonus track that sounds like an indie rock hip-hop track, and they reveal that while these songs were for fun, they had fun doing it and they could make more or simply move on to do something else.

It’s completely random, noisy and foolish as they want but there are moments of sarcastic beauty that easily makes this a lot more enjoyable than anything on the radio these days.

(You can download the Phil Jr./Bad Best Friend “split cassette”, along with seeing a track listing, by clicking here.)

(UPDATE: The Tumblr page has been removed but the download can still be had by clicking here.)

REVIEW: M.E.’s “This Is M.E. : The Mixtape”

Photobucket Here’s what irked me initially about This Is M.E.. “Declaration” tries to sound a bit cinematic off the top, a bit more energetic that I’d like to hear. I understand one wants to make a declaration, but you can’t off showing how much you’re worth if you haven’t proved yourself to me. The holier-than-thou choir voices was extravagant, and almost is put there as if to show that these guys are a bit more special or extraordinary than the others. Too much boasts, too much pride, it’s an ego-fest at its best and arguably worst, and I felt like going “wow, calm down guys, you don’t need to come all up in my face like this.”

Then I turned my ego off.

Now the good. This Is M.E. may be a mixtape and perhaps because E-Leven and Continental T are calling it a mixtape, I’m not supposed to be expected to enjoy it that deeply. People release mixtapes almost effortlessly, and yet there’s a lot of effort here in both the lyrics (be it the writing or the delivery), the musicianship, and production. These are personal, heartfelt tracks, and yet I understand how others would feel if they heard this without knowing anything else from the group. No party tracks, nothing to kick back to, it comes off hard and almost too victorious, as if all struggles have been done and they are the victors. I would have approached a slightly softer approach, even though their music is mainstream in the sense that N*E*R*D and Kanye West are mainstream. No complex rhymes, just well written stories and none of them will go over your head.

It may be a loose collection of songs released as another random mixtape, but I found that I enjoyed this as an album if you played the songs from the end to the finish. In other words, instead of playing tracks 1, 2, 3 etc. until you hit track 16, play it from 16, then to 15, 14, 13 etc until the last song heard is the first song on this. Lyrically, it works a lot better and the mood of the album shifts because now one can understand the sound of victory and struggle that is heard in “Declaration”, and it doesn’t come off as overeager. Try it that way. Works brilliantly.

(ME have made This Is M.E.: The Mixtape available as a free download, which you can have by clicking here (143.27mb).

REVIEW: Stephane Grappelli & Toots Thielemans’ “Bringing It Together”

Photobucket According to, this is the second time this album has been reissued, with its third cover, so if you have this album in some form or another, this is the exact album.

Bringing It Together was originally released in 1984 and has been a joy for fans of both Stephane Grappelli and Toots Thielemans, although it’s primarily Grappelli’s album. On here there are cover versions of “Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover”, “Hit The Road Jack”, “As Time Goes By”, “Just The Two Of Us”, and “Bye Bye Blackbird”, but when Thielemans hits the right spots in “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To”, it will immediately bring you to earlier times, even if you weren’t around to experience them the first time. A charmer of an album.

REVIEW: Josh Levinson Sextet’s “Chauncey Street”

Photobucket Upon the first ten seconds of hearing the title track of Chauncey Street (self-released), you know you’re going to be up for a rip-roaring time. The Josh Levinson Sextet play their music as if they were meant to do so, and while I know a lot of people tend to take that saying without care, it is true for Levinson and the rest of the guys. The title track may bring people to the streets of New Orleans, while “Wired” may take listeners to Miami or perhaps in Americas more South. “Heat” gets funky and shows a bit of what Levinton left (and had taken with him) after The Whle Damn Family, and I feel that’s what makes this album works: it sounds like family, where everything gels like saliva on a cackalack. The tribute to Avishai Cohen in “Avishai” is beautiful and may hopefully bring people to the namesake who may have never approached his music before.

The musicians here (Levinson on trumpet and flugelhorn, plus Brian Fishler on drums, Peter Brendler on bass, Kenny Shanker on tenor and soprano saxophones, Noah Bluess on trombone, Jeb Patton on piano, along with pianist Mike Eckroth who sits in on “180 Degrees”) are just superb, and with this album recorded and engineered by Peter Karl at his Brooklyn studio and the final recording mastered by Fred Kevorkian, you’re hearing album that honors its influences but also hopes to become an influence for all who choose to hear this. Highly recommended.