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#FF Download MP3s: Mos Def, Tame Impala, Big K.R.I.T. and more...

Big K.R.I.T. : "Hometown Hero" (Ft. Yelawolf)
Big K.R.I.T. and Yelawolf are reportedly linking up for a joint mixtape, Country Cu$$inz. While the project has no foreseeable release date yet, the pair decided to sneak a taste of what’s to come with a remix of K.R.I.T.’s “Hometown Hero.” Yelawolf takes the second verse slow, tempering his double-time flow with a relaxed approach more akin to K.R.I.T.’s crawl, then he kicks the tires and speeds off, homeward bound.

Mos Def: "Priority" (A Cappella)
In parternship with the Enough Project, veteran taste-maker and former KCRW Music Director, Nic Harcourt, has enlisted the help of friends like: Bat For Lashes, Imaad Wasif, Konono No 1, Damien Rice, Amadou & Mariam, Norah Jones, Mos Def and more to donate songs to the Raise Hope For Congo compilation. The Raise Hope For Congo project aims to protect and empower Congolese women who are the subject of unspeakable abuse as a result of the high demand for the country’s conflict minerals used in cell phones and computers in the west. Listen to Mos Def’s contribution, “Priority (A Capella)” and go support the cause, take action now.

School of Seven Bells: "Bye Bye Bye"
School of Seven Bells is on a mission to spill enough dream pop to coat the world with bliss-kissed stupor—and it's working. "Bye Bye Bye" is the band’s latest foray down a gossamer-swathed rabbit hole, with a mean beat tempering a chorus of angelic vocals. It's the loudest a quiet song can get.

Tame Impala: Jeremy's Storm"
Aussie kite chasers Tame Impala were recently led down into the lair of jams known as Viva Radio, where they played a few songs sans their usual knee-deep puddle of phaser for the station’s Me + You program. Of the lot, the instrumental “Jeremy’s Storm” was the one that really clicked as a cross-legged all-guitars pow wow, and now we are wondering if Tame Impala take campfire offers so we can properly enjoy this while lighting marshmallows on fire and lounging in Crazy Creeks.

Dam Funk: "A Day At The Carnival"
We actually spent a day at the carnival on Sunday, eating lots of dubious fried products and venturing onto rides to test our stomachs’ ability to keep them down. It was fun but exhausting. From the sound of this, a day at the carnival with Dam Funk would be a much mellower experience–link up with some friends, maybe play a few rounds of that squirt gun game, and definitely not eat a deep fried calzone. Also, dance to some futurist boogie.

Freddie Gibbs: "Oil Money"

Check out this video for "Money Oil" by Freddie Gibbs from his new (unreleased) Str8 Killa EP. The track features a slew of talent, Chuck Inglish, Chip Tha Ripper, Bun B and Dan Auerbach.


Music Submissions: Javelin & Baby Jaymes

"No Mas"

Why Javelin's debut album is entitled "No Mas" is unclear--because the album totally leaves you wanting more. From front to back, the album journeys from 80s to 90s (when the tracks were first sampled) R&B/hip hop/soul/funk beats, never flinching to be "indie relevant." The cow bell and synthesizer on "On It On It" bring back memories of Detroit's legendary house scene. "Vibrationz" could be a summer hip hop joint for The Dogg Pound. Not since J Dilla's Donuts has it been so easy to listen to a beat CD through and through.

Sounds like: Groove Armada's children with Madlib with a dash of Chief Excel's parenting

Listen to: On It On It, Goal/Wide, C Town (shit listen to the whole album)

Baby Jaymes

There is never been a better time for Oakland to say, feel, and embrace “you got to keep moving, moving, moving.” Baby Jaymes, an Oakland soul, funk and R&B artist sent up "K.I.M" and while typically we shy away from single tracks--we had to share it with you. First, take notice of his voice. Absent of any unnecessary auto-tune, his voice rings like a church choir singing with the hope that slowly continues slipping away from East Oakland. On “K.I.M.” he sings “everybody has advice for us/ so much we didn’t know what was right for us,” and then “I don’t know which way to go / ain’t no time to be so vulnerable,” and one can’t help but shiver at his honesty. Then on “Posted,” we get a dance friendly track that mixes soul/funk/hip hop and boy is it sweet 90s-pop hip hop. "IYouWe" is a nice attempt at D'Angelo style, soulful with a funk push--but achieving D'Angelo is no easy feat, and might not be all that its cracked up to be anyhow (note: I feel bad for that dude).

Sounds like: Raphael Saadiq sits back in a session with Maxwell

Listen to: K.I.M., Posted, IYouWe, Every Nuance


Panda Bear Tomboy "7

The cynical part of me wondered why Panda Bear would bother releasing a two song single and then call it a 7" when hardly anyone even purchases music in physical form anymore. Sure, it has become a hallmark of non-trendy cool kids to have a record player these days and record collections have more cache than actual records but most people my age would have to Google “7 inch” just to know for sure what it was. But, then I heard “Tomboy” and “Slow Motion” and stopped worrying about it. While I am an avid Panda Bear fan I have never quite understood the appeal of Animal Collective and still don’t quite “get it.” Maybe, like my inability to determine whether or not red wine has spoiled, my mental taste buds are just a bit off. Anyway, I can hear the Panda influence in AnCo but I just find solo Panda far more interesting and appealing to my particular aesthetic preferences. I prefer brunettes too, in case you were wondering.

“Tomboy” and “Slow Motion” deploy the same hypnotic pacing that you’ve come to expect from a Panda Bear record. As he has before, he effectively deals in mood music that is expansive without being indulgent or bombastic. The percussion and guitars are noticeably prominent on both tracks, especially in the early going, while the unobtrusive harmonizing remains with hints of a latent echo that give the sound a light roundness. Complex arrangements are blurred into willowy consonance and it all feels pared down. Lyrics as words are of secondary importance to their resonance. A commitment to prosody holds it all together, perhaps too much so. The tracks are layered but never overwrought. In a way, the two songs are bit too neat. If that sounds like a quibble, it is, but I sometimes wish some of the production process’s roughness remained. An ragged edge or two could add some real bite. This Bear comes off a bit tame.

-William Clarke


Pure Ecstasy: Featured Artist

The wonderful thing about being a music enthusiast/blogger/collector is stumbling upon an unknown (by you or by most people) band and having to double take your player, "Who's this!?" I have three tracks on my Ipod by Pure Ecstasy, the Austin lo-fi, surf rock group that only has 77k page views on MySpace. Each time one of their songs ("Easy," "You're In It Now" or "DWLDWD") has come on, I've turned my head from the road (as I'm driving) to peak at my Ipod. "Oh snaps! Who is this Pure Ecstasy?"

The sleepy sounding lo-fi is light with bright vocal harmonies dulled against dark distortions, and dissonance. Hoots and howls re-verb against clashing guitars, while the rhythm calmly moves. Sonically fitting for overcast afternoons, and hazy summer picnics--Pure Ecstasy is one of the most fitting names for a band.

Pure Ecstasy: "Easy"

Pure Ecstasy: "You're In It Now"


Bear in Heaven Interview: Best Rest Fourth Months

Poetically painting pictures, vocalist Jon Philpot of the psychedelic Brooklyn rock group Bear in Heaven has been honing his craft for years — but he is only now starting to see his own big picture. After plenty of a positive response to their latest album, Best Rest Fourth Months, the group recently returned to the studio. SFCritic spoke to Philpot in a phone interview while he was working on new material at a recording studio in New York. Bear in Heaven performs at Rickshaw Stop on July 26th.

SFCritic (SFC): Best Rest Fourth Months was not the original name of the album, what was it?

Jon Philpot (JP): I wanted it to be “West in Peace.” I just wanted to make it something goofy, but I got to call a song “Beast in Peace,” so I feel happy now.

SFC: How far along are you on the new album?

JP: The new album is coming along slowly. We just got a chance to start writing recently.

SFC: Do you write most of the lyrics, or does the group write collectively?

JP: As far as the band, I’m pretty much the only lyric writer. My friend Michael has been helping me with lyrics. It’s been really nice to correspond over email about lyrics. We used to skateboard together when we were younger, and now we’re exchanging poetry.

SFC: How did that come up? Did you write poems about skateboards?

JP: I came down to play in Atlanta and he came to the show. He was amazed by the show, and decided he wanted to give me some lyrics — and he did! Now he’s helping me out when he can. It’s my full-time gig so I’m doing the majority of it.

SFC: So you started playing when you were nineteen, and now are making it “big” at thirty-five. What kind of odds and ends jobs have you had to support yourself in between?

JP: I worked at a coffee shop in Athens, Georgia called Jittery Joes, which actually is a really good cup of coffee if you are ever in Athens. Then I went into video.

SFC: Was there ever a point where you decided to choose music over video, or has video always been a means to an end?

JP: Well the two are kind of simultaneously running for me. The thing is I’m kind of torn because there is not one that I like more. Right now, music is yelling at me a little louder so I have to focus on it for a little while.

SFC: Visuals can translate into your music.

JP: Absolutely, as I make stuff for video, or as I make stuff for music, the two kind of inform each other. Narrative, characters, and having stuff like that to me it’s very important in lyric writing, and also in the way it progresses cinematically.

SFC: From a lyric standpoint, do you start with a visual, literal idea, or does it start with an abstract thought?

JP: I usually pick an idea, and then the metaphors come with that. It’s a lot of speaking about specific people, and the specific things that they’re doing and then trying to describe it poetically.

SFC: I noticed that in your lyrics you use a lot of visual imagery — mountains, rocks, or birds. What do they mean to you? There is a theme of nature, you might say.

JP: It’s a connection between us and earth, our surroundings. I was just trying to make things bigger than what I can actually make happen, or see in reality.

SFC: Like bears in heaven?

JP: Well, I haven’t been to heaven. All the elements in the songs are just minutia that I think is important. It’s important to give them their time and space, and they’re all a part of it. There is a big connection to the nature and human relationship on this record particularly.

SFC: Are you a nature person?

JP: I do love nature, yes.

SFC: Are you a bird watcher?

JP: My dad is a birdwatcher. It’s kind of weird that you asked me that, because my dad is really a bird watcher.

SFC: If you could be a bird, what bird would you be?

JP: Shoot, that’s a tough one, probably a falcon or something that’s pretty radical.

SFC: That’s a vicious bird. What would you be doing if your music hadn’t caught on?

JP: I’d still be making music. We wouldn’t be touring as much. It’s amazing how touring can cut down on your productivity. I was actually talking with my friend, Joe, from Cymbals Eat Guitars, and I was telling him, “It’s so weird that we’re playing the same songs, and when you get done with it, you don’t have a new thing.”

What he said was, “What you have is fans — people.” Oh yeah, I guess I never really thought about that.

Bear In Heaven performs at Rickshaw on July 26th. Tickets are $10 in advance, and $12 at the door. Doors open at 7:30pm.

This interview is republished from SF Station.
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