Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Girl Talk: "Feed the Animals" Indeed

Previously mentioned, in more places than I can count, mash-up maestro Girl Talk released Feed the Animals last Thursday. 2 years after his breakout success, The Night Ripper, Greg Gillis is pretty much the face (but not the creator) of this evolving genre. So far, the Hood Internet, Car Stereo (Wars) and Immuzikation are the only ones close to Girl Talk. Since the classic The Night Ripper, Mr. Gillis has quit his day-job, won a Taco Bell eating contest, and went from doing shows for small gatherings to selling out venues and joining the festival circuit (this year at DEMF, Lollapalooza and All Points West to name a few).

This time around, Girl Talk went with the Radiohead approach by releasing Feed the Animals with the "pay what you want" option. Very interesting, and being the stats nerd that I have turned into, I would love to know how many units sold on the first day/week. I don't think Soundscan will be seeing those records. I bought my copy for $10, which included 14 DRM-free mp3's, plus $3 shipping to get the physical copy this fall (for reasons previously mentioned).

After having the weekend to digest it, I've decided that its okay that its not The Night Ripper. 2 years changes a lot and they are in fact, 2 totally different "Animals". Feed the Animals is much more accessible to the masses sprinkled with more "classics" than you can count. What it lacks in obscure/cult samples, it makes up for in smooth transitions. There are very few spots where an '80s legend couldn't line up with a rap star. While I can't say it has a true "Juicy"/"Tiny Dancer" moment, Animals has some head-turning spots:

-"What Its All About" (Jackson 5 "ABC" + Rihanna "Umbrella") Girl Talk manages to make a young MJ sound electric over the catchiest song from last summer.

-"Set It Off" (Mary J. Blige "Real Love" + the Guess Who "These Eyes") Mary J. Blige's soulful vocals are even better over this stripped down classic.

-"No Pause" (Yael Naim "New Soul" + Eminem "Shake That" + Swizz Beatz "Money In the Bank") The catchiest of all Apple songs, paired with Eminem's filthiest party jam, and a little help from Swizz Beatz makes for a prime mash-up.

-"Play Your Part (Pt.2)" (Huey "Pop, Lock & Drop It" + Journey "Faithfully") While I'm more partial to the Soulja Boy and Journey version I heard in sweat soaked Chicago, I can't think of a better way to conclude the album.

My favorites change each time I listen to it. Cop it while you can. The more popular Mr. Gillis gets, the more I worry that some artist will get grumpy and try to get in Girl Talk's pockets. Look for Girl Talk to continue his non-stop touring through the Fall.

Girl Talk - No Pause

Buy Girl Talk's Feed the Animals here. Preview it here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cut Copy: Summertime "Colours"

I've been slacking again, but its only because of:

a) moving out of my apartment
b) trips to Caseville
c) mourning the end of my beloved Pistons' playoff run
d) the slew new music keeping me occupied

Those good reasons and the fact that my current file-sharing site, File Den, decided to ban me from use (if anyone has any better ones, let me know), should explain my absence. At least I didn't "leave you without a dope beat to step to" (see Nark Inc.).

By now, Lil' Wayne sold a "Millie", Lollapalooza released its 2008 schedule, and Girl Talk took the Radiohead route with Feed the Animals(more on that later). You also might have noticed Cut Copy's rise to fame. From February to May, their tracks (and remixed tracks) have ruled the Hype Machine's top 50 and have quickly risen to my iPod's top 100.

There isn't much more I can say about these Australia natives, other than that they know how to make catchy, yet thoughtful ("So Haunted") dance hits. In what could be confused for a number of styles, Cut Copy manages to create an electropop sound with guitar, drums and keys. At times In Ghost Colours sounds like an 80's throwback ("Lights and Music") without the cheesy haircuts and outfits, and at others its simply, good indie rock ("Midnight Runner" & "Unforgettable Season"). In Ghost Colours could possibly be the album of the summer with breezy songs like "Feel the Love" and "Hearts on Fire".

Cut Copy is currently touring the U.S. and making stops at Pitchfork and Monolith. Everything I have heard about their live show sounds amazing and makes me jealous I missed their Magic Stick show.

Cut Copy - Feel the Love

Cut Copy - So Haunted

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Narkworthy 6/3: Nark Inc.

This mixtape was actually sitting on the burner for a week or so. After the onslaught of summer hip-hop, it took a little while to decide what would make the cut. After seeing the track list, 2 things jump out at me:

1. Neptunes, Neptunes Neptunes. Pharrell and Chad are all over this edition. N.E.R.D. is making me consider avoiding the inevitable leak and buy Seeing Sounds. Star Trak cohorts Kenna, Chester French and Mickey Factz make necessary appearances. Lastly, 2007 may have been the year of Timbaland, but 2008 might be all Neptunes. Between the Common track, N.E.R.D., and Pharell's work on Madonna's album, they certainly have a head start on Timbo.

2. Midwest Revival. Nark Inc. is filled with artists representing Chicago, Detroit and even Cleveland. It was hard to dissect a few cuts from Kidz In The Hall's The In Crowd, with so many to choose from. Common purists are going to be mad, but you can't argue with the Pharrell beat on "Universal Mind Control". Ann Arbor transplant Buff 1 makes the 1st of many future Nark features, Royce 5'9" makes two appearances, as does Cleveland newcomer and self proclaimed "stoner", Kid Cudi.

..and yes, Curtis and his silly vocoder made the list....whoops.

Nark Inc.
1. TQ - Paradise ft Krayzie Bone
2. X.O. - Grind Baby ft Cee Cee
3. Brisco - On The Run ft Akon & Flo Rida
4. Kid Cudi - Day n Nite
5. Common - Universal Mind Control ft Pharrell
6. Mickey Factz - The Water ft Lauryn Hill
7. N.E.R.D. - Spaz
8. Buff 1 - Beat The Speakers Up
9. Idle Warship - Fall Back ft Chester French
10. Elzhi - Motown 25 ft Royce 5'9"
11. Kenna - Say Goodbye to Love ft Lupe Fiasco
12. B.O.B. - Lonely People
13. Saigon - Believe It
14. NYGz - Ya Dayz R #'D remix ft Lady of Rage, Freddie Foxx & Royce 5'9"
15. Bun B - Swang On 'Em ft Lupe Fiasco
16. Wale - The Crazy
17. Kidz In the Hall - Middle of the Map Pt. 1 ft Fooch
18. Kidz In the Hall - Middle of the Map Pt. 2 ft Black Milk & Guilty Simpson
19. N.E.R.D. - Everybody Nose remix ft Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco & Pusha T
20. Kid Cudi - Dat New "New"
21. G-Unit - Rider Pt. 2
22. Rick Ross - Get Down ft Pharrell

Download Nark Inc.