Friday, November 30, 2012

Comix Friday: The Modeens at Kitty Litter Records!

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 4:04 PM

When last we left our heroes, they were confronted by the mysterious Xavier Donnelly III, of Kitty Litter Records—what's next for The Modeens? Let's find out!


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When Does Nicki Minaj Sound EXACTLY Like Jay-Z?

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 3:38 PM

When you slow her down, apparently.

This is Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass," her anthem to dudes who...look good, I guess.

And this is Nicki Minaj, slow-jam style:

This is the work of some fellow named Josh L., from Canada, apparently. You can find the rest of his work on Soundcloud here, but be forewarned, he comes off as a bit of a douche. Either way, I'm pleasantly surprised that there's a way at all that I can enjoy listening to Nicki Minaj's music, even if only for a few minutes.

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Xander Harris - Snow Crash

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 2:40 PM

20 years ago Neal Stephenson gave the world Snow Crash, my favorite cyberpunk novel. It's hard not to fall in love with a book with a main character named Hiro Protagonist who has a business card that says "Last of the freelance hackers and greatest swordfighter in the world." Not to mention Hiro is a pizza delivery guy for a not so subtle Mafia-front business called Uncle Enzo's CosaNostra Pizza. The novel is chock full of cyber-anarchistic fun, and some of the technology described in the book has been fully realized today, as with avatars and Google Earth.

For the 20th anniversary of the publication, Austin-based synthesizer guru Xander Harris has teamed up with the good folks at Mishka for a soundtrack inspired by the book.

The music is excellent—it plays like a cross somewhere between Daft Punk and Harold Faltermeyer. Imagine Chevy Chase as Fletch in Tron and that'll give you a good idea.

Did I mention this is a free download? Have fun in the Metaverse!

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Who Says Ones and Zeroes Aren't Soulful? How to Dress Well, Beacon, and an Increasingly Rare Appearance by video? Tomorrow Will Set You Straight.

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 9:35 AM

I'll admit that I'd never heard of How to Dress Well (aka Tom Krell) when his show tomorrow night at Solar Culture Gallery was announced. But after seeing lots of Facebook posts about how excited people were about the show — and about the fact that video? was getting the privilege of opening for him — my curiosity was piqued.

I was sent a copy of HTDW's new album, Total Loss, checked it out, and it all made sense: HTDW and share an aesthetic. Both trade in electro-beat R&B: video? veered pretty close to the mainstream R&B of Justin Timberlake on their last album, 2011's fantastic If This TV Could Talk, while How to Dress Well immerses himself in spacey, icy-warm, ambient-influenced R&B. Both are variations of white dudes indulging their inner soul crooner, and both formulas work awfully well.

How to Dress Well's debut, 2010's Love Remains, scored great reviews and built a devoted cult following. But with the release of Total Loss, HTDW's second album, which scored an 8.4 rating on Pitchfork as well as a coveted "Best New Music" tag, the hype machine is really starting to spin. According to an email sent by How to Dress Well's publicist, "We got hit up by Beyonce’s camp because they want to sample a How To Dress Well song on her next album. He also submitted a demo to Big Boi for his new album but it didn’t make the deadline in time."

Bummer, but I have a feeling he'll land on his feet.

Meanwhile, video?'s future has been in question since a cryptic post appeared on Facebook a month or two ago. The band was referred to in the past tense, which prompted others (including me) to ask some questions.

Continue reading »

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Andre 3000 Is Back on T.I.'s New "Sorry"

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:41 PM

Andre 3000, in my view, has been one of the world's more underrated rappers since being cast in the shadow, to an extent, of his OutKast partner Big Boi. Even lately, it seems as if he's better known for being in Gillette ads than for releasing one of the best albums of the 2000s in "The Love Below", half of an OutKast double-album released alongside Big Boi's "Speakerboxx" (Big Boi, similarly, can't seem to get any love from the record industry himself, but that's another post for another day).

And speaking of that partnership, Andre references it and apologizes to his rap partner for skipping out on him the last few years to chase other interests around, thus reigniting my hopes for a new OutKast release.

The rest of the tune is quality as well, though the hook is a bit grating, in my opinion. Either way, it's well worth a listen just to hear Andre back on the mic (other collaborations over the past few years notwithstanding, of course).

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Andrew W.K. is Disappointed About Not Heading to Bahrain, Strangely Serene

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 5:37 PM

I don't expect Andrew W.K. to be a jackass about things, considering that he seems to be very zen-like in his love of partying, but if I were in his shoes I'd probably more than a little pissed about having my cultural ambassadorship revoked.

Apparently, Mr. W.K. is a better man than I.

In an interview with Salon, he tells them that he "was disappointed because we were so excited about the trip and the events they had scheduled for us," but that he feels "pretty confident, [that] friends of mine that otherwise wouldn’t have heard of Bahrain, have done so now,” concluding that “In that sense, my cultural ambassadorship has been fulfilled.”

In addition to the interview with Salon, W.K. issued a statement on his website, saying that he vows "to continue partying, and working everyday to to unite our human race through the power of positive partying."

You're a good guy, Andrew W.K. I'd party with you any day.

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9Q+1: Sara Mohr

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Sara Mohr was born in North Dakota and has lived in Tucson since she was 4. She started playing piano at 5 and is a piano and music instructor for the School House of Rock. She is also the keyboardist and singer for the new project Sorry About the Garden. A bartender at Plush since the bar opened, Mohr is the creator of the bar’s signature Sexy Blue Jesus cocktail.

What was the first concert you saw?
Huey Lewis and the News at the UA’s McKale Center. Holy saxophone! I accidentally sat on a piece of gum, and got it all over my Esprit pants. So ’80s.

What are you listening to these days?
Switched-On Bach by Wendy Carlos. It was actually my mom’s, but I stole it from her and spun it over and over until it was full of static. I was fascinated with the Moog synthesizer.

What was the first album you owned?
Fever Ray, PJ Harvey, Rachmaninoff.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don’t get?
Rockabilly. It’s fun at first, but after a while, I find it tiresome.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?
Genesis, with Peter Gabriel as the frontman, in one of his crazy getups. I have a serious soft spot in my heart for ’70s prog-rock.

Musically speaking, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?
Disco while wearing roller skates. No joke.

What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
“Learning to Fly” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

What band or artist changed your life, and how?
Tori Amos. I know, I know. I’m such a girl! She is an amazing pianist and orchestrator. There is a perfect balance of dark and light in her songs. Her music makes me feel very mortal and creative. Every time I listen to her music, I find myself going over to my piano. … Also, my once-upon-a-time piano teacher David Barela. He taught me to believe in my art.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
Blue by Joni Mitchell.

What song should everyone listen to right now?
The Knife, “Heartbeats,” live.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

DJ BL3ND Is Coming to Tucson

Posted By on Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 4:16 PM

DJ BL3ND (or a preview of my nightmares tonight)
  • DJ BL3ND (or a preview of my nightmares tonight)

It's hard to even know what anyone means when they say they're a DJ these days...Rolling Stone ran a traffic-baiting list of the "25 DJs that rule the world" and Daft Punk were at number 25. This is somewhat strange as Daft Punk, while great, aren't really DJs in any sense of the word that I understand, they're a dance act who wear helmets with no turntables or records in sight. None of this really matters...after all, terms — especially musical ones — find new definitions all the time, but if you can figure out what it is DJ BL3ND, who is coming to the Rock (to "Fuckin RAGE," if Twitter can be believed) on Friday, does, you're a step ahead of me.

Still, if you would like a taste of the sort of chaotic electronic noise that's popular with the kids these days, a significant amount of Mr. BL3ND's music is on Soundcloud, including the RAGE MIX (sigh) and it's extensive tribute to "Molly" (double sigh):

DJ BL3ND is scheduled to perform on Friday, Nov. 30, with Phoenix remixers 2ToneDisco (who are not, in fact, a combination of Madness and Tavares) at the Rock. The show is all ages, although if you want TO FUCKIN RAGE DOWN S0M3 ALCOHOL BRO, you'll need to be 21.

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