/*Google*/ /*Hosting*/ June 2009 | SFCritic Music Blog


Starfucker Fucking Rocks the Bottom of the Hill

Written by David Johnson-Igra
All Photos by Charlie Homo

For a group whose name mocks the very fan base they’re creating, Starfucker knows how to engage a crowd. Playing last Tuesday at the Bottom of the Hill, the Oregon based band brought energy, humor and talent. When this combination transfers to their record, they’ll have an army of starfuckers ready and waiting. In all sincerity the crowd consisted of mainly platonic starfuckers like “I’m in love with this band,” though there appeared to be some more lustful eyes in the crowd as well.

Before Starfuckers performed Atole, a tweaker’s punk electronic group, tried to energize the crowd with synthesizer whistles, and empty bass lines. Their sound depended heavily on tweaking EQs and a drum kit, which for most part felt redundant. By eleven the crowd had filled as Starfucker took the stage. Three of the four band members’ outfits caught my attention, as they indulged in what is becoming known in the blog sphere as a humorous antic. Lead singer Josh Hodges’ outfit was tame as he wore a hairnet, white undershirt and tight, I mean TIGHT, jeans. The other members were dressed in drag, wearing skirts and bright cardigan jackets with earrings to match. The band’s humor is sophomorically light, which is fitting because the most notable parts of both their album and performance are when they perform elated with bubbling electro dance hits.

During their performance it was evident the band was highly talented. Each artist seamlessly weaved between multiple instruments during songs, while maintaining a succinct level and balance. Watching them maneuver is exciting, and it’s unfortunate that this same visual energy doesn’t translate into their record. Though “Pop Song,” and “rawnald gregory erickson 2nd” stand out on their debut album as pop songs full of catchy guitar distortion and edgy drumming, “Boy Toy” and “Medicine,” sound overly drone and robotic on the records, but amazingly more balanced live with pumped EQs and pounding drumming. Early in their set the group played “Pop Song,” riling the crowd into a mosh pit frenzy, which was surprising considering most of the crowd was female, and everyone was dressed to their hipster nines drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon. I thought hipsters just stand around looking apathetically cool.

Transitioning between songs, Starfucker played a recording of Zen philosopher Alan Watts who is well known for his opinions on comparative religions, particularly Asian religions and belief. It may be that Starfucker intends to draw from Watts’ desire to illuminate and reach higher consciousness, as they try to parallel bright disco infused grooves, with humor and thought. On “Medicine,” recently praised by Spin as a “song you must hear,” Hodges provides a dose of positive reinforcement as he sings “you’re perfect, drink your medicine” and then cuts and stabs Watts' recorded voice. When breaking from singing, Hodge dances like he’s inspired by Save The Last Dance, his hip twisting with a two step, and his arm pumping like a disco queen. The man can dance and sing—ladies he’s a keeper—and a crowd pleaser.

Like the characters they dress themselves to be on stage, reverting to a youthful aura of fun, free of the economic burdens, the 9-5, these kids rock the stage freely like a garage band. While Josh Hodges leads with a stern and emotionless face, his rare smiles, are bright with the same energy that radiates from the band’s curious and experimental playful style. Unfortunately unlike a similar band, Passion Pit, whose records are equally flush and vivacious as their on stage performance, Starfucker screw themselves more often on the album with an incomparable sound to their packed concert full of eager starfuckers getting ample doses of energetic positive “medicine.” Enjoy them in town, and get ready for their follow up album.

If you enjoyed this article, take a look at these:

Preview Starfucker in San Francisco, watch their music videos

Monday Thought Process: MGMT-->Violens-->The Zombies

Glasvegas and Von Iva Live Review: Rock's Promising, the Rise of the Stars


The Death of Michael Jackson, His Legacy, and Struggles

As many will play on repeat “Thriller,” “Billy Jean,” or even “ABC,” remembering Michael for his music and dance moves, his struggles and setbacks will be equally memorable. Michael Jackson took on a nation at a young age, and exploded into a global celebrity beyond what had been seen by anyone other than the Beatles. With all the perks, the home petting zoos and the trials, Michael always seemed to have an inner struggle. As his skin color changed a second star was born, his image in the limelight became tainted by negative publicity and gossip. I can remember when Michael's relationship ended with Lisa Marie Presley, gossip swirled about their sex life and his sexual inadequacies. Tabloids exclaimed that Presley used Michael for the popularity and Michael used the relationship to move past his child abuse allegations. All of this was just one example of where Michael was the joke of critics. He was the star that musically everyone embraced, and the celebrity that took the world with the moon walk as he walked backwards away from scrutiny.

In discussing Michael’s legacy, an older woman and fan of Michael said to me, “I don’t think there could ever be someone that can fill his shoes, not by his accomplishments, but by his struggles.” At I first I agreed. In my lifetime there have been few stars of equal global appeal: Bono, Madonna, and maybe Prince? Even fewer pop artists also have had a similar struggle of identity. Then it occurred to me, maybe Britney Spears. Believe me, I know her career is not comparable in accomplishments to Michael, but her struggles are similar. Britney Spears, along with Justin Timberlake, was a child star on The New Mickey Mouse Club. Like Michael, she began at an early age, and before she was eighteen, she became a celebrity icon. For Britney her identity struggle has verged from her female sexuality. First appearing as a cute, but sexy schoolgirl, she later was spotlighted as a “matured” young adult sex symbol, to what I would call, Amy Winehouse with a twist of Perez Hilton—as her public persona became tainted by media and gossipers.

Where Madonna made strides commanding her public persona, Britney Spears has become a victim of the gender issues and dynamic of a female celebrity. Madonna has also been prey to tabloids, but she has manifested herself into a key figure forging female liberation and sexuality. If Madonna was in control of her public image, Britney Spears was a pawn of promotion. While plenty of female musicians created their own public image, female pop musicians are more often dolled because in the true nature of “pop” music, record labels believe selling sex is the best tactic to appeal to the largest audience. This is also true in hip hop music, where there is a dichotomy of sex epitomized in the difference between Queen Latifa v. Lil’ Kim, or clearly explicated, either a woman is a ho or a diva.

In the beginning of her career, Britney Spears was marketed as the girl next door. She was wholesome, pretty, with a naughty school girl skirt. With her second album Opps!...I Did It Again she became more sexualized. The once supportive parents of youthful fans now decried Spears as a whore. There is a good clip about this in Jesus Camp, yes I know Evangelists are crazy anyhow, where a girl states she wouldn’t listen to Britney Spears because she’s a slut and her mom doesn’t allow it. Later, Spears blunders with her child, K-Fed, and drugs painted an image of not only an irresponsible mother, but a weak woman losing control. Like Michael, Britney Spears became the public clown. “Oh my g0d—I see London, I see France, I see Britney Spears’” and we all know the rest. Her image of wholesome turned to trashy. Her sexiness was no longer sexy post pregnancy, weight gain, partying, and all.

Michael’s public appeal plummeted and rose like a roller coaster, as his ride in the limelight was long, rewarding and tumultuous. At this time it’s hard to foresee Britney Spears career. Now with her sixth album Circus, she has returned to reclaim the throne as Queen of Pop. As many remember Michael today for his record selling hits, probably many of those same people were appalled by the child molestation allegations over fifteen years ago. There is countless number of tabloids pointed at his weight loss, or his face structure. At heart, it felt as though Michael was trying to sculpt himself to the public’s liking. Likewise Britney’s success will mirror her image, her acceptance and reintegration in pop’s cool. While she will probably never have the long lasting impact that Michael has extolled on us, maybe we can also learn from Michael's death, better understanding our desire to hear more gossip, to scrutinize and inspect the lives others, and see that Britney Spears has become a target in a similar way. I’m sorry Michael, thank you for everything, I hope you find peace.

If you enjoyed this article, take a look at these:

Music and the Moment

She Got Her Own Thing: A Look at Neyo's "Independent Woman"

You Remind Me of a Song I Once Knew


Technical Problems

At the moment I'm experiencing technical difficulties connecting to the internet. "Wait, but you're online and posting. Aren't you on the internet," you might think, and the obvious answer is, "yes." I'm online, but this connection is painful, and each time I try and research/write, I'm stabbed by disconnections, and having to relocate a good signal; therefore, I will be back on Friday, possibly tomorrow, but until then--


The Clash - "I Fought the Law"

I'm exhausted because today I fought the law, but the law won. Yes, it's true, I was speeding listening to techno music, but it was a trap. Now, $500 later, and three hours of sitting at my laptop answering questions like "Can you drink and drive while an old pedestrian crosses the street,"--I have answered to the law, and the law won. Enjoy the Clash's cover of "I Fought the Law."

If you liked this post, take a look at these:

Whitetown: "Your Woman"

Mr. Mister: "Broken Wings"


Preview Starfucker in San Francisco

Starfucker, the Oregon based group, that's rising like bundt cake with their 80s indie-rock-punk with a playfully indescribable fuse of hip hop are coming to San Francisco tomorrow at the Bottom of The Hill. That was a mouthful, but it's nothing in comparison to the unintelligible bio description at the band's Badman Recording label's website:

"It's like playing an 8-bit video game where your primary objective is to overcome heartbreak and an obsession with death, your only weapon a love laser mounted on a space bike that zaps out bright red blips and neon bleeps."

Really, like WTF--"Neon bleeps?" The group has been a part of all the premier festivals from SXSW to Monolith, but haven't exploded fully partially because of their late self-titled debut release (May 2009). The band is noted for infectiously fun and animated live sets. I'll let you know. Meanwhile, enjoy these clips:

Ps- This is the urban dictionary's definition for a "Starfucker:"
A person who's obsessed with and seeks out personal interaction with celebrities. The desired interaction is often, but not necessarily, sexual in nature.

If you liked this post, check out these:

SOTD: Discovery "Orange Shirt"

The Sounds "No One Sleeps While I'm Awake"

Metric Fantasies


Featured Label: Warp Records

Warp Records has become a staple of good electronic, artistic, experimental, and new wave music since the early 90s. This is not Arista, or Def Jam with pop hit, one time wonders. While some of their artists have topped charts, most of their music remains known by DJs and music collectors. Like most hustlers in the music industry, the label's first two releases by LFO (not "Summertime Girls" LFO) and Nightmares on Wax were sold out of the back their cars. Miraculously, Nightmares on Wax sold 30,000 copies without major promotion. The two groups established a platform sound for the label, with driving levels of jazz, electronic, experimentation, and hip hop.

Some of my current favorite artists are on this label: Grizzly Bear, Prefuse 73, Bibio, Plaid and Flying Lotus. This is one of the few labels whose standards enable a critic like myself to say, "Pretty much every artist on the label is worth a listen." Take a look and enjoy:

If you like this post take a look at these:

Featured Label: Tres Records

Listen to What You're Missin': Jay Z, Phoenix, Micky Factz, Camron


Listen to What You're Missin': Michna, Charles Tree, Greg Laswell, and Telepathe

"Listen to What You're Missin'" takes you through four tracks of the week, giving you an updated look at what's good, so check it--Charles Trees, Greg Laswell, Michna and Telepathe.

Charles Tree: “It’s The”

I wanted to dig in the crates of tracks I've posted that have been lost. “It’s the,” shit—is probably the full title of this song. With an intro that builds into the sample, the song takes off quickly. Charles Tree’s “It’s the” plays like an RJD2 beat, but the sample is chopped and used in a fashion similar to Madlib. Driven by a simple drum pattern, the sample anchors the song. For a man with strong political expression, “It’s the” is void of lyrics, but not of hip hop soul. After listening to Charles Tree’s Myspace page, this track emphasizes a jazzy hip hop, whereas some of his other tracks experiment with electronic and scratching, sounding more like Prince Paul. Take a listen, try to rap over the beat and send me your lyrics, because I’ve been rapping over this track all morning, and my rhymes “are the.”

Greg Laswell: "Days Go On"

"My days go on and on and on without you here," moans Laswell, as the piano picks up where his voice trails. The somber toned song reminds me of Thom Yorke with its dark undertones, fast drum sequence, and dispersed electronic guitar. "Days Go On" was released on his 2008 EP, How The Day Sounds, two years after his divorce. It can be assumed that "Days Go On" is a song about his adjustment after the divorce.

Michna: "Triple Chromed Dipped"

Michna, the Brookyln DJ, producer and former record store clerk, calls his sound "pop." If this is "pop," than why haven't I heard it on the radio. "Triple Chromed Dipped" begins with royal horns ushering in a man ready to claim his throne. As described at Remixmag the DJ and producer has two different agendas: as a DJ he keeps his music dancer-friendly, but as producer, it's about him. In "Triple Chromed Dipped" Michna uses pauses, record drags, and samples to create a listener friendly track that isn't all that "pop" danceable.

Telepathe (Remixed by Gold Panada): "Chrome On It"

This remix by Gold Panda of Telepathe's "Chrome On It" further emphasizes the blurry lines that the group is forging. With several EPs and singles out, the band released their debut album recently, but their sound seems to still be forming. On "Chrome On It" the cascading drum pattern sounds more club hip hop than electro, while the vocals are anything but hip hop. Their debut album Dance Mother was released in mid April.

If you enjoyed this post, take a look at these:

Listen to What You're Missin': Immortal Technique, Of Montreal, Grizzly Bear, and Mos Def

Getting Feedback: Listening to Prefuse 73 and MF Doom

The Solo Dance Party: Crystal Castles, Mickey Factz, and Flying Lotus Remixes Lil Wayne


SOTD: Discovery "Orange Shirt"

Discovery’s “Orange Shirt” is an overindulgent taste of hi hats, synthetic drums and playful keys. The new band from XL blends electro, indie and hip hop into an unfamiliar combo with familiar elements. At first the beat sounds like radio hip hop producers Timbaland or Pharrell, with heavy emphasis on 808 drums broken with repeating synthesized chords. Oh wait, did I mention the duo is comprised of the familiar Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend and Wes Miles of Ra Ra Riot. The vocals and lyrics make this track as he sing with an apathetically soft and sweet voice, “I promise to leave before your mother wakes up in the morning.” Like Chester French, Discovery takes aspect of hip hop and reinterprets them into something creatively different.

For similar artists see:

Vampire Weekend

Fleet Foxes


Mos Def Likes MF Doom

I like MF Doom and Mos Def.

Want to find similar posts?

Kutiman: ThruYou

Wale ft. Lady Gaga: "Chillin'"

Prefuse 73 and MF Doom

Featured Artist: Chip Tha Ripper, Cleveland's Other King

Cleveland is known for King James, but if Charles Worth, aka Chip Tha Ripper has it his way, he'll be crowned soon as Cleveland next great rapper since Bone Thugs 'N Harmony. Already boasting the most successful mixtape in Cleveland titled J E-V Presents: Bitch I'm From Cleveland, he has a new mixtape called The Cleveland Show coming soon. The rapper has been featured on Kid Cudi's new album, Hi Tek's most recent album, and Kidz in the Hall's album. Chip Tha Ripper is witty, with freestyle lyrics like "interior crocodile alligator, I drive Chevrolet movie theater." Enjoy:

Listen to Chip Tha Ripper


If you like this post, check this out:

Damu The Fudgemunk

Wale ft. Lady Gaga: "Chillin'"


Thought Process: Blondie-->The Wind in the Willows

Today's "Thought Process" takes you back to the 80s looking at Blondie, Deborah Harry's beginning with Wind In The Willows and more. Read, and follow as my mind takes me from one thing to the next.

This weekend I watched Kicking and Screaming" (1995), a film about post undergraduates, and well--I'm not entirely sure because I stopped it 30mins in. Clearly, I'm not here to recommend the movie, but I did find a forgotten gem.

Blondie: "Heart of Glass"

From the late 1970s to 80s (with a brief return in the late 90s) Blondie became one of the most commerically successful US new wave and punk band. Led by singer Deborah Harry (what an awful name), "Heart of Glass" was their first US #1 hit. Throughout the group's career Deborah Harry's fame grew beyond the band, often being referred to as Blondie, which led to other memebers of the band leaving.

The Wind In the Willows:"Wheels of Change"

Not nearly as popular, The Wind of Willows was Deborah Harry's first band in the 1960s. The group's style was characterized similarly, as rock and psychedelic, but I hear also an impressionistic style of late Beatles on drugs. The band did not receive much commercial success and broke up soon after their first release. The Wind in the Willows was originally a children's book by Kenneth Grahame. Below is a short adaption of the book.

Other "Thought Process" posts:

The "Thought Process": MGMT-->Violens-->The Zombies


Animal Collective: Summertime Clothes

Here is Animal Collective's new video for "Summertime Clothes" from their recent album Merriweather Pavillion. "Summertime Clothes" was one of my favorite songs from the album, and I'm glad to be able to share the recently released video. Enjoy.

If you like this, check out:

CD Review: Animal Collective's Merriweather Pavillion

SOTD Deerhunter: "Nothing Ever Happened"

Featured Artist: Metric Fantasies


Common No Longer Needs to Borrow a Dollar, Collabs With Jonas Brothers

Common's debut album, Can I Borrow A Dollar featured tracks like, A Penny For My Thoughts, and "Pitchin Pennies", projecting himself as one of the most homeless sounding rappers of the Golden Era, until now--as he attempts to make dollars with the Jonas Brothers. Things have changed for Common who was labeled a sellout by fans after becoming a poster boy for Gap, and now has a new line of Diesel cologne. The dude has "Two Scoops of Raisins" and a vineyard with a bunch of workers making a gang more of raisins.

These days musicians need to make a buck anyway they can--so I'm not hating, rather it's intriguing on how they choose to market themselves. Apparently, Common hasn't learned from his predecessors mistakes: don't collaborate with pop musicians! Yes it's true, Common has teamed up with the President's daughter's favorite band--Jonas Brothers for the song "Don't Charge Me". The song is about a bank robbery, and that's all I know because it made my headache worse. I'm charging them both with a crime, and "I'm hot, you're cold."

Jonas Brothers ft. Common: Don't Charge Me

On a tangent, another awful boy band/rapper combo was LFO and M.O.P.

LFO ft. M.O.P.: "Life is Good"

Read more about this at Pitchfork

Find this interesting? Take a look at these:

Generation Y, Hear My Cry

Breakfast at Sulimays: Common Raps Common

My Drink 'N My Two Step: A Look at Tricia Rose's New Book

The Dr. Is Ready: Dre and Detox

For all those Dre enthusiasts you've probably been reading about Detox for several years now, as everyone has been building up this album, and now you get your fix with Dr. Pepper. The man responsible for the west coast gangsta rap sound has been M.I.A., and I'm not referencing the "Bambo Banga." In May, Dre released a little sample, just a morsel, on a Dr. Pepper commericial. Oh how fitting, Dr. Pepper and Dr. Dre. Take a look:

Like this, check out this:

Pharcyde: Bringin' Back that 90s Rap

Featured Label: Tres Records

The Boombox Ate My Baby: 80s Boombox Videos


Andrew Bird : "Oh No"

SOTD 6.10.09 as seen on Betterpropaganda.com
Andrew Bird: “Oh No”

After the propulsion of emo/indie/rock during the Garden State soundtrack era, with bands like The Shins milking the tit of success until they were surrounded in soothing booty, seemingly tainting this genre for listeners as trendy and pop, Andrew Bird remained a hit on Pitchfork, but overlooked by most. “Oh No,” is a sharp social criticism as Bird’s softly sings “Arm in Arm we are the harmless / sociopaths, oh / Calcium mines you buried / Deep in your chest.” As he whistles through the time, the guitar sweeps gently with Bird reminding the listener this is not a love struck Shins song for all the sounding similarities, “so let’s get out of here / past the atmosphere” and join Bird free of the calcium mines.

If you enjoyed this SOTD take a look at:

Peter King : "Shango"

Kid 606: "Mr. Wobbles Nightmare"

Lee Fields & The Expressions: "Ladies"

Listen to What You're Missin: The Mixtape Beginnings

This blog is taking shape, and accordingly I appreciate your patience and eagerness to read on. Last week, I did a hot list entitled, "Listen to What You're Missin'," which was a huge success. So this is indicator I found something, suggestions to new music. Surprise.

Each Wednesday I will be posting "Listen to What You're Missin'," a list of new tracks I've discovered through blogs, magazines, or good 'ole MP3 diggin'. I'm just stickin' to my bridges, handing out good 'ole chunks of change. Think of this as a personal weekly mixtape made specially from me--for you.

Immortal Technique: "Mistake"

Wait did they make a mistake, why’s that MP3 skipping? Oh wait, it’s just that crafty intro from Immortal Technique’s “Mistake.” Immortal spits a giant loogie on this track,making sure y'all hear him clearly, "When I was young / I got signed to a record label / The deal looked so good when it was on the table / it paid for my cable, cribs, cars, and jewelry / studios and women there ain't nothing they wouldn't do for me / except stop screwing me for publishing and royalties."


Mos Def ft. Slick Rick the Ruler:"Auditorium"

Make a big sandwich consisting of a healthy wrap Madlib beat with flute loops and Tetris keys, filled with always satisfying Mos Def butta spread, and a slice of Slick Rick the Rulers and you got "Auditorium", another leaked track from Mos Def's highly anticipated album Ecstatic.

Of Montreal: "St. Exquisite Confessions"

"It's like an opus," said my stoned friend concerning Of Montreal's "St. Exquisite's Confessions." "Just wait," he says, as the intro begins like a cold electro blues with Georgie Fruit (Aka Kevin Barnes' alter ego) singing, "I'm so sick of sucking a dick of this cruel cruel city." Slowly the choir background builds, cools--then topples, altering into a raindrop synthesizer that peculates over a shifting beat. Three minutes into the track, the song sounds entirely different--but that's just Of Montreal style--Oh Montreal.

Grizzly Bear: "Two Weeks"
There isn't much I need to save for this track. These guys are hot, like Vampire Weekend was hot a year ago. Hear them, enjoy them, remember the name--Grizzly Bear.

Other Mixtape Posts of Interest:

Featured Artists: Lil Wayne, Crystal Castles, Micky Factz

Featured Artists: Phoenix, Jay Z, Camron, Micky Factz


Thought Process: MGMT-->Violens-->The Zombies

While blogging I look first for the names of artists/bands I know, then let hyperlinks lead me to discover. Recently posted on Stereogum was an MGMT remix of the Violen's song "Doomed." I'm sure you're all familiar with MGMT, and as a side note, you should watch their drug induced/disturbing music video of "Kids." Below is their remix of the Violens, or you can hear it at Stereogum.

Violens - "Doomed" MGMT Remix

The Violens are a New Wave styled indie rock band who draw from retro 80s rock and 60s psychedelic pop. Described by NME as "ever wonder what the Shins might sound like had they taken an enormous amount of happy drugs with Arthur Lee, Van Morrison"--they'd sound like the Violens. Those were lofty comparisons, so I read further.

The band was signed to Cantora Records in 2007, and released their first album Violent Sensation Descends in 2008. After receiving much praise, from Spin to NME, the band has been working on their sophomore album. Below is some of their music videos.

The band was compared to The Zombies. Who are the Zombies? The Zombies are a 1960s UK psychedelic rock band. Known for songs like "She's Not There" and "Time of the Season." When listening to "She's Not There" you can hear similarities in the hollowed voices and dark tone. The shifting percussion pushes "She's Not There" as the electric piano fills the climax of the song. It's freakin' groovy if you ask me. The more popular "Time of The Season," issues comparisons to MGMT during the opening verse as the piano offsets the chopped percussion (just imagine it remixed with today's technology).

This is a day in the thought process of the SFCritic, I hope I shed a little light about contemporary music, up and coming groups and their musical roots.


Featured Label: Tres Records

Step 1: To learn music outside the radio-pop realm, follow and learn about music labels. From Death Row to Om Records, music labels don't just release records, they showcase particular styles and genres. In the weeks to come, I will feature different labels, assisting you in finding artists you might enjoy.

Tres Records
This is Tres Records "About US":
Tres Records, a label founded and run by artists, is committed to procuring the hip-hop aesthetic while exploring the infinite possibilities of the sampling tradition. Tres seeks out artists with the same passion and provides them a space to be creative and maintain their musical integrity by putting quality before quantity.
Tres hopes to help continue to contribute to the culture and become an example of the idea that independent Hip Hop label is far from dead.

After following Blu, considered by critics as one of the top emerging hip hop artists in 2008, I learned he was signed to Tres Records. I saw and reviewed a show of Blu & Exile earlier this year. The LA rapper has an old school west coast aesthetic, rapping about daily issues of growing up in a story telling fasion.

Here are some other artists on Tres Records:

C.R.A.C. Knuckles
C.R.A.C. Knuckles is a collaboration of Blu and Ta'Raach. Ta'Raach is a witty, and inventive producer, compared to the likes of Prince Paul or De La Soul. Blu, as described before, has an old school descriptive story telling style. Together, they create a fresh style of hip hop, which is both mind stimulating as it is eardrum palpable.

C.R.A.C. Knuckles: "Buy Me Lunch"

Big Tone
Big Tone, born Anthony Jackson, a Detroit rapper with LA lyrical realism. Having worked with some of the best, like J Dilla, Big Tone came out with his sophomore album The Art of Ink, which is filled with a blend of soulful and funky beats.

Giant Panda
Giant Panda, still a symbol of remembering traditions without forgetting progression, is composed of childhood friends Newman and Maanumental(hailing from Seattle) and Chikaramanga(a Tokyo native), with their foundation based out of Los Angeles, CA. The trio’s name is simply an analogy to their ethnic and cultural make-up: what else would you call a group made up of white, black, and Asian guys?

If you like these artists, then check these posts:

Pharcyde: Bringing Back that 90s Rap

Album Preview: N.A.S.A. "Spirit of Apollo"

Dilla One of the Best Ever


Looking Alike: Assumptions in Music and Fans

Drake: Best I Ever Had"

"You're Jewish, he's Jewish, you have to like him," said a friend of mine regarding rapper Drake. I laughed, said sure, and told him I'll like Drake when his music sounds less repetitive and generic. The whole comparison got me thinking, generalizing, "well if you are this, sound like that, than you must like this, than you must relate to that." So this is what I put together.

Lonely Island: "I'm On A Boat"

I might as well throw in Asher Roth "I Love College," into the white boy joke rappers. Lonely Island is Weird Al reincarnated ten years later thanks to SNL.

Weird Al Yankovic: "Amish Paradise"

Everlast: "What it's Like"
Everlast: What it's Like

Bubba Sparxxx : "Ms. New Booty"

Ugh! White boy southern style rap. We got some country grammar up in here, you know if you like Sparxxx you have to like Everlast.

Creed:"One Last Breath"

If you like Creed you'll probably love Teabaggers

I need some more. Got any suggestions? Check out some similar posts:

Bitch Pop: The Story of Pubescent Teens and Bitching

The Boombox Ate My Baby: Funny 80s Boombox Videos

Britney Spears Needs to Get High

The Sounds: No One Sleeps When I'm Awake

The Sounds are a Swedish New Wave punk rock band--which sounds like an indie artsy fartsy group, and rightfully so. Their new video for "No One Sleep When I'm Awake" is directed with playfully interesting cinematography, accentuated by neon lights, midnight trips, blue lighting, last call subway trains, and life at 3am. Like the French Film, The Red Balloon, you see lead singer Maja Ivarsson walk across town, through the video with balloons in hand, as we venture through her late night life.

No One Sleeps When I’m Awake from Davis Artist Management on Vimeo.

Check these posts for similar artists:

Metric: Fantasies

Deerhunter : "Nothing Ever Happened"

Lykke Li Does Rick Ross and plays with Bon Iver

Hot Off the Wax: Wale ft. Lady Gaga - Chillin

"You pronounce my Wall-Ay"--any questions? Wale, straight out of Maryland's Go Go, is making a name for himself quick. So get with it! On "Chillin", Wale claims his title as he raps, "I remain a Giant, and you Jeremy Shockey." OH snaps! Lady Gaga is on the track, singing the hook in a M.I.A. tone. Listen, it's jumpin' and soon will be pumpin' on radios alike..enjoy:

Want more hip hop?
Dizzie Rascal: "Bonkers"

Kutiman: ThruYou

El Michels Affair: Enter The 36th Chamber


Listen to What You're Missin'

Rolling Stone released their "Hot List," but they need SFCritic to know what's REALLY hot. As summer approaches we scrape the grime off BBQ grills, dig through old swimsuits, start our New Year's resolution to exercise, and most importantly--create summer playlists. Here are some tracks to consider:

The UK electro rock band first got my attention a few years back with their disco-sounding track "If I Ever Feel Better." In Rolling Stone, just another fan promoting their new album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, the band was quoted as ready to take over in the US.

"If I Ever Feel Better" from the album United

PHOENIX/ If i ever feel better from A.C.E on Vimeo.

"Fences" from the album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Jay Z "Can't Cheat Death" Produced by DJ Premier

When you combine superstars what do you get: a super track! Damn, I'm cool. Supa Dupa!This single was released online, and features a gritty Premier beat, with Jay, focused and wicked as ever. The lyrics are originally from Jay's "Prayer" on American Gangster, but it's the Premier beat that brings this track life.

Camron: My Job"

With Billy Joel-esque piano trills, Camron raps about jobs, and life. This witty critique is no Marxist critique, but it sure as hell is refreshing with all this hip hop consumerism. Yo Camron, if I get some work, I'll holla at you! Back from a hiatus that included taking care of his sick mother, Diplo blowing up, and then dissipating, Camron is back--you hear that "CURRTIISSS."

"My Job"

Mickey Factz: "Automatic"

Get the Factz straight--he's automatic. The hardworking New York based rapper has been churning out mixtapes online in a prolific fashion. "Automatic," is a jazzy gem that's perfect summer listening. "I've got a feeling," this will be a joint you'll hear soon.

Other Mixtape Posts:

Featured Artists: Of Montreal, Immortal Technique, Grizzly Bear, Mos Def

Featured Artists: Mickey Factz, Lil Wayne, Crystal Castles


Following the Foot Steps of Greatness: Vieux Farka Touré

No child seamlessly follows the same career path of their parents without being compared, but Vieux Farka Touré continues to establish himself as a reputable artist independent of his ubiquitous surname. As the son of Mali blue’s great Ali Farka Touré who was considered by some as “the African John Lee Hooker” for his entrancing guitar rhythms and style, Vieux made a name for himself in 2006 with his self-titled debut album. Like his father, Vieux’s music is rooted in the natural connection between African and American blues, but unsurprisingly for a self-proclaimed fan of Wilco, Dirty Projectors and Skatallites, his music moves further by incorporating contemporary styles of reggae, dub, and rock.

The term “world music” can be loosely defined, especially in regards to African music, as Africa is argued as the birthplace for most contemporary styles. Accordingly it is difficult to label Vieux’s new album Fondo as it combines essential Malian blues with other contemporary forms. With “Fafa,” the first track on the album, Vieux quickly roots himself in the Malian blue’s style, with enthralling pentatonic guitar riffs which his father mastered. Yet where “Fafa” feels familiar, “Sarama” moves into new ground with a quick percussive tempo that resonates like “western” rock. On the aptly titled “Slow Jam,” the song moves coolly with the instrumentation, furthering distancing himself from his father whose vocals would typically been center point.

With Fondo, Vieux plays with an elegance that is reminiscent of his father, while also successfully creating a style uniquely his. While some of the Marley’s live off their surname, creating music that lacks artistic talent, with another successful album Vieux establishes himself as a true contemporary talent with a promising future.

Here are other CD Reviews:

Fischerspooner Entertainment

A-Trak FabricLive.45

Empire of the Sun Walking on a Dream

Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavillion

Blog Widget by LinkWithin