Thursday, February 28, 2013

A-Trak - Piss Test (Remix) [Video]

Just as 2012 was coming to a close, Fool's Gold released their first rap compilation, Loosies, with so many artists over 22 tracks your head would spin. One of the many highlights was A-Trak's Piss Test (Remix), featuring Juicy J, Jim Jones, Flatbush Zombies, El-P and Flosstradamus.

The psychedelic video, directed by Shomi Patwary, might not be on the same level as Duck Sauce's Barbara Streisand video, but still manages to squeeze quite a few cameos into a smoke-filled, hazy night. I see ya, P-Thugg!

Check out the video and the give the continuous DJ mix by co-founders A-Trak & Nick Catchdubs a listen.

As always, Fool's Gold steps up their packaging with a limited edition box set that includes a cigarette-shaped USB drive.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My Morning Jacket - Leaving on a Jet Plane (John Denver Cover)

On April 2, ATO Records will release The Music is You: A Tribute to John Denver, a long overdue celebration of the late folk singer's music. Among the many artists featured on the album, My Morning Jacket has contributed an absolutely beautiful version of Leaving on a Jet Plane.

Whether you remember John Denver best from his days with the Muppets, or mistakenly thought Ben Affleck originally wrote this song, pick this up as a portion of the proceeds will go to the Wilderness Society in John's name.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Kidrobot Announces Major Lazer Collaboration

Kidrobot, the infinitely cool designer toy and apparel company, announced on Feb. 15, a new collaboration with Major Lazer. The company has created an 8" vinyl figure of the fictional character that is the face of Diplo's dancehall/electro side project.

The limited item is listed at $50, and will go on sale tomorrow, Feb. 19 at 11 am EST. A white t-shirt ($30) and a black tank ($28) round out the collection, on sale tomorrow as well. You've been warned, these will sell out.

If you prefer to spend your money on the real thing, Major Lazer will be in town March 2, at the Congress. Tickets are still available.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Know Your Record Store - Let's Boogie

Owner Neil Keller with a very cool Led Zeppelin bootleg of a 1974 Chicago show.

For a fifth consecutive year, as the rest of the industry is in a free fall, the sales of vinyl records continue to increase. A total of 4.6 million units were sold in the US in 2012, according to Neilsen Soundscan, the official source for sales throughout the US and Canada.

While that might not seem like a huge number, it's important to note that most record stores are locally owned, independent businesses that need our support. Whether it's your first purchase, or a weekly addiction, knowing where to shop and what to expect is a great start.

Let's Boogie in Bridgeport, is an absolute blast from the past, complete with faded Led Zeppelin posters and a full wall of cassettes. I sat down with owner, Neil Keller, to discuss his store, his love for vinyl and where the industry may be headed.

How did you get into the business?
I always liked music and had a background in retail, so the two went together. The neighborhood needed a record store. There was Melody Records across the street, but the lady was about to retire. She didn't like kids and she didn't like Rock n Roll.

How long have you been in business?
27 years.

How many records do you have on the floor?
About 5,000. Another 5,000 in inventory.

Would you consider anything your specialty? 
Oldies, I guess [laughs]. I don't really like the new stuff. The '60s, '70s and '80s are mainly what we have.

As a record store owner, how did the transition to different formats effect you?
The transition to cd from cassette was fine. But then the transition from cd to downloads killed the business. The only that kept it going was the vinyl, because the collectors, the audiophiles, the vinyl junkies still collected albums. That's what paid the bills.

When did you first notice an increase in sales?
Um, probably 2008. The downside is the $25, 180 gram releases. All the new records are $20 to $25, they've reissued a lot of the classic rock, but people still want the original for $10 or $12. Most of my stuff is used, so I don't see the same numbers.

[Note: Most records use 120-140 grams of vinyl when pressing an album. 180 grams is considered "audiophile" grade. Aside from being heavier, the extra material allows for deeper grooves and better sound.]

Do you think there is a difference between the two?
Oh yeah. They're heavier, they're thicker. The bottom line is every time you play a record there is wear, so you'll lose some of the signal every time you play it. With the stylus hitting the record, there's wear and if you can lessen that, any record will last longer.

Why do you prefer vinyl?
You can touch it. You can feel it. The sound is warmer. It's not as convenient as a cd, or an MP3, but you get an experience.

When you opened this store, you were selling vinyl and 8-tracks. That must seem like ages ago.

So what's next?
I don't see it coming. I think manufacturers and artists are going to just send you a download. I think they're just going to own a master recording and shoot it out to your phone. It won't sound as good, but it'll be adequate.

Doesn't that concern you?
I think if the economy turns around and everyone is working, we'll go back full circle. Vinyl is a luxury item, it's definitely not a necessity. You'd rather feed your kids and keep the lights on. But, I have people that come in every week and spend $100, $200.

Any chance of selling the store?
I had one guy that came in and wanted to move it to Holland. The entire store, posters off the wall, shelves, everything. 

I kept the store because it turned into a hobby. It's a cool place to hang out. I don't consider it work. I'm here every day and I'm not going anywhere.

They pretty much have it all, from Charlie Brown to N.W.A.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Desaparecidos - Anonymous/The Left Is Right

Never ones to mince words, Desaparecidos have released two scorching songs, Anonymous and The Left Is Right. The release coincides with their first tour of the UK, and is available to stream below.

As the title suggests, Anonymous, is a bombastic, confrontational track in support of the well-known hacking group. Stabbing guitars and a defiant chorus have never sounded better.

The Left Is Right, is a reassuring, and hopefully recharging, song for the Occupy Wall Street Movement, with the "1%" clearly in their sights. Powerful drums and even more powerful words - If one must die to save the ninety-nine/Maybe it's justified/The left is right - make this one of Conor Oberst's best.

The band is pressing a very limited 7", available for pre-order exclusively on their site.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Killers - Runaways (RAC Mix)

The Killers have made a fairly decent living by pretty much making the same song, over and over again. You've heard it, right? Bright synths, catchy hook and soaring refrain that makes you feel like driving your car fast and far, far away. Nine years after their debut, they are still in such a hurry.

Enter André Allen Anjos, aka RAC, and his glistening remix. With little more than a deliberate, splashing drum snare and hand claps, Brandon Flowers and the boys finally find time to catch their breath and it's amazing. From the moment you hear the 80's beat and fading synth, you might as well be watching Pretty in Pink or playing Pac-Man.

As usual, the track is FREE, so grab it and start your weekend off right. RAC will be in town at the MID, Friday, May 10. RSVP here for no cover.