Man what a week. This week we saw Kanye collaborating with Katy Perry, Weird “Al” taking on Gaga, Time Magazine dubbing the Bieb and Bruno Mars as influential as Oprah, Rage Against the Machine slating a date at L.A. Rising July 3, and um, Muse (should be a sweeping cross section of misdirected angst) and Washed Out signing to Sub Pop and selling out (maybe we can expect more of this post-chill buzz in the days to come?). We can attempt to read these signs like the apocalyptic billboards that have been popping up on our freeways, or we can sort out the relevance that was this week in pop in no particular order.
Femi Kuti, heir to his father’s Afrobeat throne is keeping the legacy going and just released his new album Africa for Africa on Knitting Factory Records. The album was recorded at Decca/Afrodisia in Lagos, Nigeria marking a return to his raw sound and conscious lyrics that show solidarity while addressing the political and personal struggles of the continent. Watch a live rooftop performance of “Africa for Africa” where Femi plays with his band Positive Force.
Catch Femi Kuti and Positive Force on the following dates:
22 World Cafe Live Philadelphia, PA
26 Highline Ballroom New York, NY
30 Metro Chicago Chicago, IL
06 Austin City Limits Live at Moody Austin, TX
12 El Rey Theatre Los Angeles, CA
13 Bimbo’s 365 Club San Francisco, CA
Just heard there’s a new bad ass Com Truise single out for the taking called “Polyhurt” from the yet to be released album Galactic Melt. Epic electro chill happening here, it will weave epicurean tales in your mind while you scramble to find fault in the track. Be sure to stay for the ending “sub song” finale. You will be glad you did.
Neon Indian has put out a teaser video in the anticipation of his new album and I’m really trying to care. You get to watch him have a ball abroad on MtnDew’s dime with the look that says I was born to exude a privilege you will never know.
Even though he flaked out on the Imposition and was rumored to freak out that his live show wasn't up to par at SXSW, give a listen to Toro Y Moi’s “Still Sound” remixed by Voodoo Bear from Paris, France who won a remix competition. Well done sir.
Hold the phones, here's a hot new video from Frank Ocean, coming at you from the sentimental wing of the Odd Future crew. In fact, Ocean is feeling his sensual side with a video looking like a Final Cut Pro boudoir edit of a solo Spankwire clip. All I can seem to say is, “Thanks Mr. Ocean.”
Since around November of last year we have been enjoying Weekend’s Sports album, particularly stuck on the track “End Times” and lead off scorcher “Coma Summer.” The good news is that LA's Speculator recently spun a remix of “Coma Summer” that is slated to be released as a B-side companion to the A-side “End Times” available May 17 on Slumberland. To re-jog your mind in the way back machine of late 2010 (an eternity, yes, I know) where we first heard this:
And now we can get our chill on to this conscious shattering twist.
And because you know you love it, here’s the A side:
Weekend will also be performing May 19 at San Francisco’s the Independent with Clipd Beaks.
Curious about these UK preppies Spector who dress like Alex Kapranos’ college prep little brothers and have a penchant for lifting harmony and melody progressions from their namesake’s “Wall” of hits.
These young wayfarers released a track called “Friday Night” on Zane Lowe’s BBC1 program the other week while “Never Fade Away” has appeared, disappeared and now delightfully appeared again on the interweb. By fall you can be sure that CMJ will be falling over themselves with superlatives to sell these blokes to budding dormitory deejays the nation over.
Damn, NPR is proving themselves to be a force to be reckoned with in a Clear Channel infested realm of cultureless entertainment. Did you know that you can stream the new Times New Viking album Dancer Equired on NPR’s website? Listen here.
This is the man behind the mirror that is DartAjax. Perhaps his powers come from his lazer eyed cat? Little is known about the Bay Area mystery man. All that's known is that he appears to be the brainchild of San Franciscan David Leonard, who plays behind this moniker either with a band or solo (this is where the details get fuzzy), there is an unreleased album called Time Starts Now, and I believe some of those tracks are making their way onto the SoundCloud sphere.
There are also some DIY videos that make great use of panning camera effects from trains, busses showcasing New York and San Francisco intermittently.
Check out this “What Goes On” nod of the head/tip of the hat with some of that early 90s Matador Records knowhow.