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Video: Mastodon - "Curl of the Burl"

It's the middle of the week and you need to let some aggression out. What better way to vent your frustrations than some good rock/metal music? Mastodon has been rocking faces continually for the past couple of years and with their latest album, The Hunter, they added more harmonies to their aggressive sound. Their lead single "Curl of the Burl" is a haunting, but addicting rock song. And the best way to display this song is to create a video of a disturbing lumberjack doing weird shit. Turn your speakers up loud and enjoy some Mastodon.

Connect with Mastodon: Facebook | Website

Video: Over The Ocean - "Everything Will Change"

Over The Ocean released a new video for the song "Everything Will Change." The song is absolutely brilliant in the way it builds up slowly to and explosion of sound. Slow build ups always get me anticipated to what is coming next, and Over The Ocean delivers with emotion and passion.  This track is off their debut album Paper House and is a follow up to the single "Something I Was Not." You can purchase the album at bandcamp here or iTunes here.

Connect with Over The Ocean: Facebook | Twitter


Ground Up - Romantic Comedy (Mixtape)

You want to know how to stay on the music hustle? Take notes from Philly's hip hop duo Ground Up. The music is constantly flowing, even when the projects are smaller they are still top quality. That is the Ground Up way. They released a short mini mixtape to hold the fans over before another full release, and it still kills. Romantic Comedy is a nice treat for fans, but stay tuned, Ground Up is only getting started. Listen and download below.


Video: Animal Collective - "I'd Rather/Little Kid" (Live)

As strange as they are, Animal Collective are one of my very favorite bands.  Their music is so experimental that it's unlike pretty much anything else on this planet, and yet it is usually very melodic and pleasing to the ear.  There's simply no one else that can do what they do.

That being said, when I saw that there was some footage of AC playing new songs floating around the blogs earlier this year, I declined to watch.  I figured that either the footage would be shot on a cellphone or the new material wouldn't sound like much because the band are notorious for experimenting with new stuff on tour before having any idea what the finished song is like.  But, the other night I was curious so I decided to look into these videos, and I'm glad I did.  Yes, the videos were shot on cellphones, but it was totally worth watching because it sounds like AC is writing some really awesome new material.  I really don't know how they could top their last album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, but it sounds like they might do it based on these probably still unfinished songs.  These songs are more melodic and seem to have more emotion than any of their other stuff, and these guys are one of the best bands at conveying emotion in the most basic human way.  One song that really stood out for me was the nine-minute encore they played at a show in Cali.  I felt so drawn in by this song it was like I was there.  Watch the video below and tell me these guys aren't some of the most creative dudes in music right now.



B.o.B - EPIC: Every Play Is Crucial (Mixtape)

The Atlanta rapper B.o.B. blew up big time, but I admit I'm more of a fan of his old stuff. That being said, his mixtapes are always pretty much on point. He produces some tracks here, but also rips the mic up on each track. This literally could pass as an album, showing B.o.B. will have a lasting power in hip hop. Listen and download to his newest mixtape EPIC: Every Play Is Crucial below.


Jhameel - "Wicked"

Another Tuesday  and another great tune from this unique and talented artist Jhameel. This is the year for his break out where people are truly discovering his music. I bet by next year he is going to be a wildly popular artist that all the blogs rush to share (That's already starting to happen). This week he drops "Wicked," which is more like some of his other songs: passionate, danceable, catchy, and straight up different from anything out there. His music is something special, listen and download to "Wicked" and the other songs in the WAVES series.


Alan Wilkis - "Come and Go" (Original and 3 remixes)

PRINTS is a project of tracks, artwork, videos, and remixes by Brooklyn based artist/producer Alan Wilkis. The idea behind PRINTS was to write an instrumental portion then collaborate with other artists in the studio or through the web. Alan co-produced The Kickdrums debut Meet Your Ghost, so it was only fitting that his first collaboration/single was with them. He also has three other remix tracks featuring RJD2, Big Pooh (of Little Brother), and Spacebrother (from Innerpartysystem). Each track has a special flavor, making it more unique. Well done, look forward to more of his work. Listen and download the tracks below. Also, learn more about PRINTS here.

Connect with Alan Wilkis: TwitterWebsite


Video: Das Racist on Conan

If you've listened to anything from Brooklyn-based, Pitchfork-loved rap trio Das Racist, you know that you can't deny these guys have skill on the mic.  While most of their songs tend to be on the jokey side, their skill should be taken seriously.  As it turns out they can put on a pretty good live show too.  The group made their TV debut on Conan (nothing but love for that show) last night performing their single "Michael Jackson" and it was very entertaining and unique.  They performed with a live drummer, two girl slamming on cymbals and Dap used a mic with a voice modifier to replicate the song really nicely.  After Heems and Victor Vasquez did their respective verses, Victor pulled off his oversize tee to reveal a Nirvana shirt and proceeded to tear up the drums like he was Dave Grohl.  Good stuff.  Watch the video below.  Oh, and did I mention the MJ impersonator?


Interview: Jason Grishkoff of Indie Shuffle

Why did you decide to create a music blog? And when did it first launch?
Like many music bloggers, I was one of those kids sharing new bands with their friends. I went from migrated from word-of-mouth to emails, and finally to a music blog in early 2009. Our official "launch" of Indie Shuffle was in July of that year, though I'd been playing around with Google sites beforehand.

Where did the name Indie Shuffle come from?
I'd narrowed it down to two choices: IndieScovery (a play on 'discovery') or Indie Shuffle (the latter was thrown out by one of my friends as an idea). To that point, I actually brainstormed quite a few names -- even asking friends to help -- and this was the one I landed on.

Did you create the logo and website, or did you have a team to help?
The logo was actually created by my friend Jason Suwito who now runs Noise Coalition. He threw it together pretty quickly, and I can only assume he wasn't anticipating it to be as widely seen as it is now! As for the website, it was all me at the start. I began with WordPress and hacked the holy hell out of it. The site back then was quite different to today's latest iteration!

Is Indie Shuffle your main gig, or do you have another job as well?
I wish! While the opportunity is actually there already, I work full-time at Google up in the Bay Area. No need to quit that now, as I can balance both!

Since the creation of your site, what were some of the things you learned about music blogging?
Boy, this is a loaded question. If I were to summarize: 1) I've learned a few web design languages; 2) I've learned to manage multiple advertising campaigns; 3) I've managed to build up a company -- and everything that comes with it [employees, taxes, etc.]; 4) I've learned that there is way too much music out there for me to ever know it all. If you want more, you'll have to pay consulting fees ;-)

What is your favorite genre of music?
Right now, really feeling the minimal electronica/chillout sounds. This collection of songs perfectly embodies that: Electronic Lullabies to Free Your Mind.

How do you chose which music to have featured on the site?
Depends on what's hot that day. We don't plan things out too far in advance. That's not the way the blogosphere works on this one. Artists release songs the day of, and we try to hunt them down and post them within a 72-hour window (typically song of the day is withing a 6-hour window). As far as genres, we have very few boundaries (pop, reggae and gangsta rap tend to not get much attention).

How many active contributors does indie shuffle have?
Tough question! If we were to define active many post in a given month? I'd say about 20. We're doing 4-7 posts a day at this point, each from a different contributor. If you check out our staff page, we've got 10 senior staff writers, then Hannah (Editor-in-Chief) and myself. All of us have over 50 posts (and in my case, somewhere near 900?).

What advice would you give to new bloggers looking to start their own music site?
Don't get into it for fame or glory. You're not going to make millions up front. But, if you want to succeed, I think there's one easy answer: persistence. And by that I mean post every. single. day. Without fail. And don't be disheartened when the results don't come immediately, because they will.

Do you have any changes or updates in the future for indie shuffle? Maybe design wise, new features, expanded genres, etc?
Well, we just rolled out a redesign last week that has a completely overhauled design and expanded genres. So that answers that portion. Once we're doing cleaning the bugs...Next up: seemless Soundcloud integration, mobile apps, favoriting, popular list...really the list is endless.

What's been the coolest aspect of running and writing your site since it went live?
I never have an excuse for being bored :-)

Connect with Indie Shuffle: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Holmes - "You Dropped A Bomb On Me" (The Gap Band Cover)

On Holmes third album appropriately titled Covers, we are getting a new take on some classic jams. His direction for these tracks give it a new refreshing vibe and this week he released his version of "You Dropped A Bomb On Me." The song was huge back in 1982 and originally done by The Gap Band. While some of the funky R&B is replaced in his cover, it still retains the heart of the song. Holmes is also working on a fourth album (third of originals) due out in Spring 2012. Listen and download the track below and pick up the album now.

Connect with Holmes: Facebook | Website


Two New Amy Winehouse Songs - "Halftime" and "Between The Cheats"

There's been all kinds of new developments in the case of Amy Winehouse's sudden, tragic death earlier this year.  But, one of the most important pieces of news is that there will be a posthumous collection of unreleased songs from Winehouse out on December 5.  Because what better way to remember her than by listening to her music.  There's been a couple of unreleased tracks leaked already, but two new ones leaked just the other day.  The songs were no loading correctly, so you can listen to the new songs "Halftime" and "Between The Cheats" over at Pretty Much Amazing.


Video: Bon Iver - "Hinnom, TX"

I've had mixed feelings about the videos Bon Iver has released for the songs off their sophomore self-titled so far.  I thought the vid for "Calgary" was weird and kind of pointless, but I really liked the beautiful clip for "Holocene".  Now there's another video for the song "Hinnom, TX", and I'm liking this one.  The sunny, atmospheric footage really compliments the vibe of the song, and it's a short song so you don't mind that there's not a story-line of any kind.  The deluxe version of Bon Iver is dropping tomorrow and it will feature a video accompaniment for every song, so pick that up if you haven't got a copy of this album yet.  Watch the video for "Hinnom, TX" below.


Video: Luke Christopher - "Poisonous Apple"

It's been awhile since I posted something from the upcoming rapper named Luke Christopher. The last time I shared some music of his was when he dropped the video "Rooftops" with Asher Roth. The kid is only 18, but he is right on his way to some serious success. "Poisonous Apple" is a short track clocking in under 2 minutes, but this will be appearing on his mixtape, which is coming soon. The beat is from a Common song, but Christopher has a killer flow on this. Watch below.

Connect with Luke Christopher: Facebook | Twitter | Website


Silversun Pickups - "Seasick"

From the moment I heard the Silversun Pickups with their glorious hit "Lazy Eye," I knew I'd be an avid fan of theirs. The band has a sound that just clicks with me so well and the vocals are very unique. Its been two years since their sophomore album Swoon was released and the West Coast band returns with a brand new song called "Seasick." The jam is just under 7 minutes, but it is worth hearing every second. The Silversun Pickups create magic once again. Learn more over at Dangerbird Records.

Via Stereogram


The Importance of Free Music

The music industry is an interesting topic to discuss among artists, bloggers, fans, and labels. Much of the discussions can get heated, considering each person has a very different, but passionate opinion. While there are a number of things that I feel as though the labels are wrong about, one portion I think they need to get on board with is free music. Some are now understanding its value, but others not so much.

You ever wonder how some of these indie/DIY artists gain such a legion of fans and have such a devoted following? The power of free shit. Since starting this blog last year I have seen tons of bands and artists have success, while others not as much as they should. The difference I noticed is the free music that was made available. Of course being talented will help get fans as well, because no one wants shitty music for free. Am I right? Yet, a lot of artists and labels need to see the value of free music. Actually, many artists and bands are starting to get that, but some labels I'm not sure they get it. Take for instance Drake. Although at his level free music isn't going to gain him more fans, he posted a free track or two and no sooner than he did that, the labels took it down. Really? Like that would effect his sales (600,00+ in one week). And then his new album leaked anyway, so yeah.

To me, free music is what gets people interested, because they don't lose money on something they are not sure about. But also, as I've said, people love getting free stuff that is awesome. Giving away music is going to get you attention, good attention. Look at e-dubble, the guy has been giving tons of free music out and has no major label backing him. Yet, he has 20k + Facebook fans, blogs eat his music up, and his downloads are through the roof. Yet, he also has a few songs you can buy and people are willing to support the guy. He is one example. Look at Mac Miller, no matter how you feel about him, he sold 140k+ with his debut on a indie label. Before that, did he have any music to buy? Nope, everything he dropped was free mixtapes. People are more willing to give the music a listen and share it with friends if it is free, and if people find it dope, that only expands the love for the artist. Miller should be the best example for labels to see the power of free music and indie love.

Artists who might bitch about not making money need to realize shows and merchandise will be the biggest source of income. Being creative and giving stuff out for free will only strengthen the core fan base. But if you're main concern right away is money, then you probably should not be making music.  Again, I get the need for the labels and musicians to make money for a living, but offering some free music in the beginning can really boost the fan base, which in turn can generate more sales.

Video: Florence + The Machine - "Take Care" (Drake Cover BBCR1 Lounge Live)

This past holiday weekend I posted some music that I think was awesome (hope you guys thought so), but I had overlooked Florence + The Machine covering Drake. Oh yeah, the English redhead with an amazing voice took on the Toronto hip hop heart throb. This was a live session where she covered the track "Take Care" that features Rihanna and was produced by Jaime xx. Florence shows her pipes off that blow Rihanna away any day, sorry RiRi you're still pretty in my book though. Watch below.


Video: M83 - "Midnight City" (on Jimmy Fallon)

Man,  M83 killed it on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last week.  So much so that I just had to post a video for any of you that didn't see it.  Watch it below and check out that awesome sax solo at the end.


Devin - "You're Mine"

Devin, who formerly went by his full name, Devin Therriault, dropped a brand new EP of three tracks last week. "You're Mine" is a in your face rock song and also is the title of his EP on Frenchkiss Records. The NY musician has a sound that is pure rock n'roll, but with punk attitude. This is a great track and well the other two are as well. Listen below and buy the EP here.


Video: The Last Royals - "Always, to Belong"

It has been a few months since I've shared some music from The Last Royals. But I always knew since I was first introduced to the band that they would find success. Between their originals and cover songs, The Last Royals knew how to create good music. They are back with a new song "Always, to Belong" and a video to go along with it. The video is a great visual, but certainly looked painstaking to create as there are some serious stop-motion aspects.

Connect with The Last Royals: Facebook | Website


Oliver Tank - Dreams (EP)

Sometimes I just enjoy soothing and calm music with a little simplicity. That is where Oliver Tank comes in with his soft ambient and electronic blend, it really calms the soul. Last week he released his brand new EP called Dreams and it is a great, relaxing listen. One of my favorite tracks off the EP is "Last Night I Heard Everything in Slow Motion," especially when the violin sounds kick in. Awesome. Listen below and definitely buy the EP if you're digging it. Via Sunsets in the Rearview

Connect with Oliver Tank: Facebook | Soundcloud


Video: Azad Right - "The Fire"

Hip hop has taken multiple directions in the past few years, with a blend of styles, there really is something for everyone. While some true hip hop heads might be against some of the newer styles, I'm pretty open to anything. I've posted about Azad Right awhile back for his great jam "Spiderwebs." His video for "The Fire" I somehow missed last month though, but at least I can share it now. This is certainly a love-type hip hop ballad, but it has a great beat and lyrics. Watch below.

Connect with Azad Right: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Black Star - "Fix Up" & "You Already Knew"

Let the hip hop excitement begin, Black Star is back. If you don't know about Black Star, the group consists of Mos Def (or Yasiin Bey) and Talib Kweli, two of the most intelligent emcees out there. They recently announced they were joining forces again and would be releasing a mixtape and a new album. The new album is an Aretha Franklin tribute disk. Black Star released the Madlib produced track "Fix Up" the other day and now already released another one called "You Already Knew." You can listen to both tracks below, and buy them if ya dig.


Black Star "Fix Up" by 3DDistro

Black Star "You Already Knew" by 3DDistro

ASAP Rocky - "Peso" (Star Slinger Refix)

Star Slinger is one fresh ass producer from the U.K. He returns again with another classic remix with some fly edits to ASAP Rocky's hit "Peso." The drums are heavier, the vocals are distorted, and Star Slinger made this a club banger. Of course I love the original, but the remix has such a unique spin, its hard not to love this too. You can listen and download below.


Video: Fleet Foxes - "White Winter Hymnal"

This was the first song I ever heard by Fleet Foxes, and it absolutely blew me away. I'm not sure if it was Robin Pecknold's unique voice, the chorus, or just how completely epic the song was, but it got me hooked. When this came out I hadn't really warmed up to folk music much, but the Fleet Foxes "White Winter Hymnal" go me there. The video is claymated and very much fits the style of the song. This was on their 2008 self-titled debut.

Connect with the Fleet Foxes: Facebook | TwitterWebsite

Porches - Summer of Ten (EP)

I was formally introduced to Porches thanks to a cool blog called This Bonus Track. They had an introduction piece on Aaron Maine, who has been recording and playing under the Porches moniker in the upstate NY area. The EP Summer of Ten was his most recent work that came out back in January and the entire album was written in December 2010. The music is a cross of indie and folk, but it is some good stuff. Check out Summer of Ten below.


Lupe Fiasco - Friend of the People: I Fight Evil (Mixtape)

Lupe Fiasco might be one of the most outspoken hip hop artists out there, he has some very strong opinions. Now, whether you agree with some of his views or not, there is no denying the deepness that his lyrics can go. A lot of times I have to go back and listen a few times to pick up everything he is trying to say. It was announced that on Thanksgiving he would release a new mixtape called Friend of the People: I Fight Evil, and Lupe stuck to that promise. The tape features 12 tracks and a black cover with the name "Jesus" across the cover. There are some great tracks on here, but there is some misses. But overall it is a step up from his last album, which disappointed a few. Listen and download below.


Video: The Weeknd - "The Knowing"

It was announced earlier last week that The Weeknd would release his first official video for "The Knowing." There have been a ton of unofficial videos that were shot really well for a few of The Weeknd's tracks before, but he never gave it the stamp of approval. This video was put on Drake's official blog, and of course in the video Abel himself is barely in it at all. The video is pretty wild though, so you definitely need to check this out.


Unsigned Friday: The Specktators

Who:  They are The Specktators.  Their name is a play off of the neighborhood we group up in located in Lansing, MI.  They consist of two brothers, Moe-T and Packi.  Packi writes and raps all of our songs while Moe-T produces, records, mixes, and masters them.

What:  They produce hip-hop music with a little electronic influence.  They are best known for their quality music, which is produced all in-house, along with their excellent hip-hop shows.

Where:  The Specktators are originally from Lansing, MI but have recently moved to East Lansing, MI to attend Michigan State University where they have put on many fantastic shows at campus bars and house-parties.

When:  The Specktators became a group in October of 2009.  They have released their most resent project on October 28, 2011 entitled "Familiar With Floss."  In addition, they released their first music video called "EL Girls" a week later which has been a local hit at Michigan State.

Why:  The Specktators have always shared a love for hip-hop music.  The two brothers love to create music together and love to share their music with all of their friends and fans.

Biggest Accomplishment:  The Specktators were the first hip-hop band in 3 years to overcome typical hip-hop stereotypes and form a monthly hip-hop show in downtown East Lansing on Michigan State's Campus at a local bar.

Connect with The Specktators: Facebook | Website

BADBADNOTGOOD - BBNG Live 1 (Live Album)

BADBADNOTGOOD creates music that isn't as popular as it used to be back in the day. I'm talking about straight up Jazz music, but these dudes from Toronto are making it fresh again. They tend to like covering hip hop jams and turning it into a full out jazz version. It's not your typical elevator music that's for sure. They cover the likes of Waka Flocka, A Tribe Called Quest, MF Doom, Tyler The Creator, Gucci Mane and more. This whole album was recorded live back in September and was released the other day. Listen below and if you dig buy at their bandcamp. That "Lemonade" cover is the shit.


Michael Kiwanuka - Home Again (EP)

There just isn't good soulful music like this anymore. Michael Kiwanuka's passion in the vocals and lyrics are on another level. A few days ago I shared the beautiful "Home Again," now you can stream the other two tracks from his EP. Home Again EP will be available to purchase come Janaury 1st, and I would recommend you buy this. After hearing the other two tracks, I'm feeling this music even more. "Now I'm Seeing" is my favorite out of the three, although I like them all. Give this EP a listen and support this man's music.


Dam-Funk - "I Don't Run With No Cliques"

Keepin' it funky on this Thanksgiving, I decided to post a track by Dam-Funk who shared this song yesterday. Stones Throw decided to drop this for us and literally Dam-Funk recorded it yesterday, pretty cool. "I Don't Run With No Cliques" isn't quite as funky as some of his other jams, but trust me he still brings the grooves. Listen and download below.


Video: Tidus - "Welcome"

That dude Marc over at Mostly Junkfood introduced me to Tidus, who reps an alien mask and his flow is bonkers. The dude doesn't wear the mask either like as a way to shock or standout, its more of his persona like Doom and his mask. I know almost nothing about this dude, but "Welcome" has one of the freshest beats and Tidus spits some nice lines. The video is mysterious and pretty simple, but keeps the focus on the music.


Hectic Zeniths - Hectic Zeniths (Album)

Hectic Zeniths was a email I got that at first was not sure what I would be getting, but the music was pretty cool. The music is layered and very instrumental - the sounds are irresistible. The music is the work of bedroom producer and multi-instrumentalist Adam Morgan Prince. The self-titled album took almost 3 years to complete, with composition ranging around his piano then vinyl samples, live instrumentation, synths, and haunting vocals were added. He also had some help from violinist Patrick Bailey, guitarist Dave Cohen, and The Yetti on drums.

Adam is not new to music as he has released a free EP of hip hop/ electronica remixes in his past. The album will be available in January, but for now you can listen to three tight jams. The arrangement of the music is wonderfully composed and completely soothing. Great work. Oh and in case you wonder about the name, "Hectic Zeniths’ is an anagram for the German word ‘Zeitschichten,’ meaning "layers of time."

Connect with Hectic Zeniths: BandcampFacebook | Twitter


KIN - After Thoughts (Album)

Spotted this over at Live For The Funk music blog, and this is some fresh production. The entire album is mainly instrumental, but the hip hop grooves are tight. KIN blends some serious jazz instrumentation with mellow layers. I think their are some emcees that need to get on these beats, its quality at its finest. There needs to be more jazz influences in hip hop like this. You can download the album After Thoughts for free. Listen and download below.


Jhameel - "Waves"

Another Tuesday has come and pass, but that means another great track from the talented Jhameel. This week for his Waves series he dropped the song "Waves." This song is slightly more chilled out, but with more emphasis on the vocals, which is great as you get a better feel for his vocal range. This might be the song I like the most, the dance vibes are toned down, but the simple production and cool vocals drew me in right away. This guy is bound to be huge with these type of tunes. Listen and download below, and pick up the other tracks if you missed them previously.


Gonjasufi - "Nikels And Dimes"

Gonjasufi is probably one of the strangest and most interesting artists I've heard in awhile.  The first time I heard his song "Ancestors" last year, I thought, "What is this and why do I like it so much?"  His debut A Sufi And A Killer turned out to be one of my favorite albums of last year because of the way it threw every genre in a blender and somehow came up with something completely original.  Sufi just dropped a free EP, The Ninth Inning a few weeks ago which continued his original sound, but went more in a rap direction.  Now, he's got a sophomore album on the way in January and the first track off that "Nikels And Dimes" sounds like his best and strangest work yet.  I'm loving the feel of this new track listen and download via the widget below.


Kendrick Lamar - "Rigamortus" (Remix) ft. Busta Rhymes

If you are not reppin' Kendrick Lamar by now, then you don't appreciate good hip hop. Lamar is crazy with it and I'm excited for this young dudes future. That being said a remix of his song "Rigamortus" appeared courtesy of The Fader. This remix featuring the recent Young Money signee Busta Rhymes, who has been a animal in 2011. For a few years Busta Rhymes kind of fell off, but this year, being featured on some big songs, he proved he still has got it. Listen and download the remix below.

Via The Fader


Ground Up - "Boulevard"

If there is any hip hop group out there that is on their music grind, Philly's Ground Up would be at the top. These cats drop a mixtape and then they are already working on new stuff. While they work on music fast, they also create tunes that are high quality. None of that Lil' B shit here folks. This new song called "Boulevard" is quite laid back, but retains that Ground Up fun we are used to hearing. Their new project Romantic Comedy is dropping November 29th.

"Romantic Comedy is a cool mini-mixtape we put together to hold fans over until our next major project, "The Get Up." It'll end up being about five or so songs, all with a common topic, women. Women are just one of our biggest inspirations. We thought it'd be cool to make something they might appreciate a little more. Nonetheless it's great music that we're proud of. "


Video: Cage The Elephant - "Aberdeen"

Cage The Elephant is such a great rock band, especially in a time where there are not many bands that have the level of talent that CTE has. This band is really the only "mainstream" rock band I really listen to. They blew me away with their debut and single "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked."  But, one of their more interesting videos is for "Aberdeen," which came out a month ago. Claymation fun, yeah buddy. This is off their Thank You, Happy Birthday album that came out earlier this year.

Connect with Cage The Elephant: Facebook | TwitterWebsite

Totally A Year Old: My Music Blogging Experience

How could I forgot this blogs birthday? I feel like a uncaring ass for not even recognizing the fact that I have been doing this for a year and actually stuck to it. Trust me, there have been a few times I was ready to throw in the towel, or the computer if you will. There have been so many up and downs with this blog, but at the end of the day I love sharing music, even if only a couple hundred people are reading. It's satisfying enough. Anyway, I believe I started this November 6, 2010 with the idea of sharing the music that I love. Not realizing, there are a million other blogs doing just that, and might I say doing it a lot better. At first, I really wanted to get noticed, I mean how was I to stand out among the crowd of thousands of music blogs? But I've seen many others rapidly spit out posts to quit a month later. I for one will keep soldiering on.

Over this past year, I've learned a lot about music blogging and how people run there sites. I've talked to numerous cool people running amazing sites. Some that come to mind in my beginning stages are Listen Before You Buy, This Bonus Track, Mostly Junkfood, Pigeons & Planes, Tympanogram and tons more. But, I've also come across the ones who seem to always been in competition and racing to post the latest track. I'd rather be a part of a giant community of people who love music and want to share with others, than labeling anyone competition. I admit, I kind of hate when 10 blogs post the same song in a span of 10 minutes, but there is always bound to be overlap - I'm guilty of it too. But its the ones who clearly are the very similar in style and always post the same genres. It doesn't mean blogs can't have similar taste, I just mean the ones that clearly watch each other and go back and forth. That's why I tried to make my music focus more broad ranging from hip hop, rock, indie, reggae, pop, etc., instead of a more direct focus of one or two genres. Maybe that works against me since I don't have a central theme, but I like so many genres its hard not too focus on that.

There has been plenty of frustration among my site, especially when you see some sites (won't name them) with 20k+ Facebook followers and getting millions of hits a month on the same corny remix, mashup, or lame frat rap song. I mean it is great you found that niche, but sometimes I felt like, damn why can't I see some success like that? It was slightly discouraging, but I would never hate on those sites, unless their sole purpose is for hits, which there certainly are those type. Some blogs you can tell have an attitude about them, and those are the ones I stay away from and never sought to reach out to. But as I've said before, there are plenty of easy going bloggers out there willing to share their insight. I really appreciate those guys that I mentioned before and others that I might of missed. I learned a lot and certainly shifted my attitude about things in the blogging community. I hope to work with more of the music bloggers out there and slowly build my readership, but for now I'll continue to write daily posts of music I enjoy.

All the PR people and daily readers I want to thank you for just taking the time to ACTUALLY read the blog and submit music. I'd like to do some longer posts similar to this or music related occasionally as well. It's just hard considering I have a full-time job and other commitments outside of this. I also want to thank Dan, who has been a writer with me since almost day one and the past contributors as well. I hope you guys will continue visiting and encourage your friends to follow us on Facebook or Twitter. Deuces.

Video: Lovedrug - "Pink Champagne"

Some good fashion rock is what the world needs sometimes, and Lovedrug knows how to mix that with the perfect pop chorus. The band released a new video for the song "Pink Champagne." This is the second single off their upcoming album Wild Blood, which is proving to be an album you will want to pick up. This video shows more of the band performing, touring, and kind of get a feel for who these dudes are. Simplistic, yet effective for their second single. Watch below.


Of Montreal - "Wintered Debts"

Of Montreal is preparing for a glorious return in 2012 with a new album called Paralytic Stalks. The band took to their website yesterday to release a song from the album called, "Wintered Debts." This jam extends over 7 minutes, but is what you come to expect from this unique band. And of course you'll get a cross of genres for your ears, ranging from slow singing, to uptempo funky vibes. Even a little country twang? Listen and download below.

Connect with Of Montreal: Facebook | Twitter | Website


Common - "Celebrate"

That intellectual dude from Chicago is certainly back as he has been dropping some heat from his new album titled The Dreamer/ The Believer. This song is a lot more upbeat with a catchy piano. His album is still about a month away from being released, but if this and "Sweet" are the types of tracks we can expect, the album should be a hit for Common. Give this track "Celebrate" a listen.


Kid Cudi & Dot Da Genius (WZRD) - "Brake"

Just the other day Kid Cudi announced the name of his rock project with Dot Da Genius as WZRD (short for Wizard). I am still just unsure of this direction, but I'll give Cudi some credit for expanding his wings. The first song from this project hit YouTube and it has a spacey/stoner feel. I have to give this track a few more spins for me to really see how I feel, but I will say the production is nice on just one listen. Give the WZRD track "Brake" a listen. What are your thoughts?

Via Prefix


Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - "Thuggin'"

Freddie Gibbs is a beast, straight up. He's been around for a few years now, but currently he has so many good projects going. Gibbs is going to be one of the only true gangsta emcees left. He already dropped a new mixtape the other week, he is appearing in a collab project with indie duo Cults, and now a EP in the works with producer Madlib was announced. You can listen to the partially complete EP at Stones Throw. "Thuggin'" is one of the complete songs, and this is getting me excited for the full project. Peep that song below.


Pree - Folly (EP)

Lately, I've been slightly disappointed with the music coming into my inbox. It's not to say the artist(s) are terrible (some are), but its nothing new or very original. So I reached out on Twitter for some of my followers to send me more shit, and hopefully it would be good. I got something from Paper Garden Records representing a band called Pree. The DC four-piece won't be for everyone, but it is a sound you don't hear much of. The band is a cross of folk, alternative, and indie. A combination that always proves successful, but what gives it the extra spice is the vocal style. They dropped an EP back in October called Folly, featuring two glorious tracks. Listen below.

Connect with Pree: Facebook | Twitter

Interview: Rap Genius

I'm sure many hip hop fans have truly wondered what some of their favorite songs mean, or maybe it is a specific line that you really just couldn't decipher. If that has happened to you, a solution has be online right in front of you called Rap Genius. The site has covered thousands of songs and continues with the help of their readers. You can create an account and contribute, the more you do (as long as they are good contributions) the more Rap IQ you earn and then eventually you can edit anything you want on the site. As they say on their About section, essentially they are a hip hop wikipedia. The site is getting recognition everywhere from different publications, rap fans, and rappers themselves. Learn some more about this sophisticated site of rap knowledge below from Mahbod, who helps run it.

For those who don't really know about Rap Genius or have been on the site before, what is the site all about?
Rap Genius explains all of rap lyrics, line-by-line, with multimedia accompaniment. Our philosophy is roll that shit, light that shit, smoke that shit.

How did the concept of Rap Genius come about?
I was explaining Cam'ron to my friend. What's funny is I gave him an incorrect explanation! But one of the other editors has since fixed it. Here's the line

When did you finally go live with the site?We started putting up songs 2 years ago (first song was KILLA CAM: )

How does the process work as far as song selection for people to dissect?
It's a hivemind - Popa Wu controls it. I run the Twitter and most of the Facebook, but I basically post what people tell me to post (although I add jokes)

What has been the coolest aspect about running the site?
Groupie love

Have any rappers reached out to you guys about lyric interpretation?
I was chilling with my man Lupe yesterday, we were on a Fiasco Street Team hip-hop panel together. We discussed adjustable rate mortgages, the banality of evil... I felt like I was talking to Moses.

Childish Gambino corrected his own lyrics once, Jean Grae gives us her lyrics, Talib hooks us up, some Odd Future people explain their own shit but I'm not allowed to say who.. WALE shows us more love than any rapper, he is the Official Rapper of Rap Genius which is why we wrote this touching post about him and J Cole being different colors:

Wale told me: "there is sooooo much in that article that I feel in my heart." NAS is going to be the first rapper to have a certified account as a rap genius editor! He said he wants to correct some of the Mobb Deep explanations LOL

What has been one of the most difficult hip hop songs to analyze on rap genius? Maybe the most talked about and argued about among people?
Lupe Fiasco Failure and the Cool saga in general:

Also Wu-Tang Clan has a weird code that we have not yet 100% cracked.. MF Doom is supposed to be complicated, Cam'ron, Gucci Mane it's hard to understand what he's saying! I like it...

Kanye vs Lil Wayne, who has more complicated lyrics?
LOL (kanye) Not that Kanye's lyrics are complicated or anything, but still..

Running Rap Genius seems kind of like a full-time gig, is it?
Every day I'm hustlin'

Where are you looking to take Rap Genius in the future?
We're explaining Milton's Paradise Lost right now:

I also plan on explaining the entire Tax Code on the site

Furthermore, I have about 100 of my own freestyles - I'mma post all of those and explain those, you'll see, my shit is lyrical..

Connect with Rap Genius: Facebook | Twitter | Website

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