Four years ago hip hop suffered a major blow when one of the most talented and imaginative guys, J Dilla, passed away at the age of 32. I’m far from an expert on Dilla and his career, but I bought Donuts when it came out in 2006 and loved it from the first time I heard it. It’s basically a giant mixtape of random loops and beats taken from all over and who knows where.
Unfortunately there are still a lot of people out there who don’t know J Dilla or his music, so Stussy has teamed up with his record label Stones Throw and the Dilla Estate to release a three part documentary outlining his short but incredibly influential life. So far only part one and two have been released but I’ve already learned a lot of things that I never knew. It’s so great to hear guys like Peanut Butter Wolf and DJ Rhettmatic from Beat Junkies retelling Dilla’s rise from his days in Detroit to his blossoming as a producer in Los Angeles.
I’m really looking forward to part three, and I’ll be sure to update this post (and put a reminder on the blog) when it’s released. Until then, enjoy these two 8 minute parts and learn about a talented man who left an amazing impact.
Criminals by Atlas Sound
Last year when I made my best songs of the year Mixcast I probably should have included a few more songs. But it was a rather lengthy mix, so it was probably best that I chose to edit a few out. But if there’s one that I really regret leaving out it would be Atlas Sound’sCriminals. The song comes off of his album Logos which is a totally amazing album, but I’ve been listening to it a lot lately and Criminals keeps popping into my head.
So I thought I’d share this live version of the song which was recorded by Southern Shelter on New Years Eve last year. The performance is one of my favorites and I love how it turned out. There are some annoying people talking during the performance but listen in the background for the keyboard kind of sounds and the harmonica, definitely makes the song even better.
“Easy… “God only knows” by the Beach Boys. It’s probably going to be the first song at my wedding.”
Easy indeed. This to me sums up everything that loves means all in 2:51. Never has there been a more impassioned plea sung in a song. The song was released in 1966 and I honestly can say, for me personally, nothing comes close to touching this song.
Congrats Ron, you’ve got a James Gulliver Hancock poster coming your way.
Shadow People by Dr. Dog
One album that I didn’t realize was coming out was Shame, Shame from the amazing Dr. Dog. My old friend Graham got me into these guys a few years back and they’re hands down one of the most creative dudes out there right now. Their sound is vintage and familiar but like nothing you’ve heard before. They harmonize like the Beach Boys and jam like My Morning Jacket.
They’ve got a new song out called Shadow People to give you a taste of what the new album is going to sound like. Honestly they just keep getting better as they go. This song sounds like they’re jamming a little more, it’s a little more epic, maybe with a touch of 80′s guitars at the end. It’s wonderful no matter how you want to describe it.
Shame, Shame comes out on April 6, which isn’t nearly soon enough. They’ll also be touring the album, so be sure to catch ‘em live if they come near you.
The new Gorillaz album is going to come out in about 3 weeks and I’m really excited to see what happens next in their epic saga. The new album is called Plastic Beach, and to further illustrate this, it seems like Jamie Hewlett has created an entire island refuge for the band, one I’m guessing we’ll be able to virtually explore like in previous incarnations of their website.
The line-up for the album is al over the place, and I might be a touch skeptical, but I trust in Mr. Albarn to bring it all together:
1. “Orchestral Intro” (featuring sinfonia ViVA)
2. “Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach” (featuring Snoop Dogg and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)
3. “White Flag” (featuring Kano, Bashy and The Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental Arabic Music)
4. “Rhinestone Eyes”
5. “Stylo” (featuring Bobby Womack and Mos Def) 4:33
6. “Superfast Jellyfish” (featuring Gruff Rhys and De La Soul)
7. “Empire Ants” (featuring Little Dragon)
8. “Glitter Freeze” (featuring Mark E. Smith)
9. “Some Kind of Nature” (featuring Lou Reed)
10. “On Melancholy Hill”
12. “Sweepstakes” (featuring Mos Def and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)
13. “Plastic Beach” (featuring Mick Jones and Paul Simonon)
14. “To Binge” (featuring Little Dragon)
15. “Cloud of Unknowing” (featuring Bobby Womack and sinfonia ViVA)
16. “Pirate Jet”
17. “Pirate’s Progress” (Japanese Bonus Track and non-Japanese “Experience Edition” Bonus Track)
18. “Three Hearts, Seven Seas, Twelve Moons”
If you want to see more previews of the island you should check out the Gorillaz YouTube page and if you want some music to listen to check out Murdock’s Pirate Radio. I’ve been listening to it for about 10 minutes and so far I’ve heard Dead Weather and Kirk Douglas… yes, Spartacus.