Monday, 18 March 2013

Heems- Start The Bus 17/03/13

Artists can have a great live show for many reasons. They can be energetic on stage, be note perfect, or have a weird spontaneity. Brooklyn rapper  and ex-Das Racist member Heems (or Himanshu) seems to have gone for the latter in a big way. 

His music, both with solo and with Das Racist always seems to tread the line between parody and serious hip hop, and when he takes to the stage Heems optimises this. 

What happens for the next hour showcases Heems brilliant weirdness perfectly. For starters he is fucked. It's hard to decide quite what he has consumed, but it's definitely got to him. Despite this he is absolutely word perfect. This also has made him incredibly chatty (take from this what you will).He starts with a weird freestyle about not needing to soundcheck. Whilst soundchecking . Then half way through second song "Rappin 2 U" he starts a half-ramble, half-stand up piece about how he thinks everyone is trying to punch him in the face. He gives a little cheeky smile after, knowing how ridiculous he is being.

 As if that wasn't odd enough, he also bought a mic hooked up to a delay pedal for one purpose. So he can shout into it endlessly making a wall of noise. This doesn't add anything to any of the songs and is there just for his own amusement It's as hilarious as it is perplexing. 

The music though is flawless. After going through a few solo songs, including "Cowabunga Knarly" and "Third Thing" from his most recent mixtape, he decides to do a montage of Das Racist songs. Set over the beat to "Xxplosive" by Dre.  Let that sink in for a sec, because it is as brilliant as you imagine.

 He controls the whole show, badly, from his laptop. This means he is easily distracted and brilliantly sloppy. When changing the track he accidentally plays a snippet of "Womyn". The crowd go nuts. So he does it, unprepared. Still word perfect. Considering the state he's in, this is a huge achievement. 

Then things get realllly weird. Heems decides to play Frank Ocean's "Forrest Gump" off his laptop. The crowd wait expectantly for him to rap over it. Instead he just sings it, karaoke style, finishing by saying "This musics way better than my own isn't it?" No one is quite sure whether this this was meant to be part of the show.

 He then gets distracted by an instrumental he got sent the other day, insisting he plays it to the crowd before rapping one of his own verses over the top. He's completely in his element, dancing along. You can't help but enjoy yourself along with him, despite not quite sure what's going on. 

Finishing off with newest single "Soup Boys", a politically changed banger condemning the US's use of drones, Heems has the crowd round his finger, even if he can't control his own fingers. He then put another song on his laptop, singing along before deciding the shows finished. 

The lack of any sort of plan or direction has not marred this show, if anything, making it better. He could have gone on for another hour, randomly spewing odd anecdotes and delving into his back catalogue and it would have still been energetic and fresh. A true weirdo.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

New Track - Smith Westerns "Varsity"

It's weird that despite Smith Westerns being two albums in, with third "Soft Will" due in June, they still manage to sound like a fresh, exciting band with each new song. With "Dye It Blonde" sound tracking my summer two years ago, I can easily see the new album doing it again. "Varisty" keeps the same dreamy optimism that Smith Westerns do so well with reverb-laden guitars swirling behind the almost falsetto vocals. Clearly the first albums scuzzy purism has been left behind for this sleek synth driven pop song that could settle nicely anywhere on "Dye It Blonde". If you listen to this and close your eyes, you can almost taste the sun.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Feb 13 Playlist

I'm back bishhes

1) Suit & Tie (feat. Jay-Z) - Justin Timberlake
2) Fashion Killa - A$AP Rocky
3) My Number - Foals
4) She Sells Sanctuary - The Cult
5) Moth Wings - Pond
6) Now or Never - Kendrick Lamar
7) Purple Haze - Jimi Hendrix
8) I'm Waiting For The Man - The Velvet Underground
9) Sans - Cheatahs
10) Redshift - Darwin Deez
11) Feels Like We Only Go Backwards - Tame Impala
12) Cocaine - FIDLAR
13) Let's Die - Turbowolf
14) V.E.N.O.M - Pulled Apart By Horses
15) Don't Like.1 - Kanye West, Chief Keef, Pusha T and Big Sean
16) Wild Water Kingdom - Heems
17) Sit Down, Man (feat. El-P)
18) NPR - KOOL A.D.
19) Fineshrine - Purity Ring
20) Red Red Wine - UB40

Kurt Vile - Walkin On A Pretty Daze

This song will make you do one of two things upon hearing. The first is to sit back, relax, let Vile's chilled acoustic guitar and intimate vocals wash over you. The other is to get up, go out and do something, anything and bask in the uplifting vibe and bewitching lyrics. This is the beauty of "Walkin On A Pretty Daze", it just leaves so much to be imagined. The lyrics are sparse, but somehow full of meaning, hope and peace. The guitar is both simultaneously soothing and motivational. But it's Vile's voice that brings this to life. Whilst not being too dissimilar to his vocals on "Smoke Ring For My Halo", his close-mic whispering seems even closer, even more like he's in the room with you. All this completely justifies the fact the track is just over 9 minutes long because, to be honest, it could go on way longer and still be as captivating.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Best Songs of 2013

I yet again apologise for being lazy. As a reward here are my fave songs of the last year.

20) Don't Say You Love Me - By The Rivers
19) Sixteen Saltines - Jack White
18) Best of Friends - Palma Violets
17) Latch - Disclosure
16) Analyser - AlunaGeorge
15) I'm God - Clams Casino
14) Cheap Beer - FIDLAR
13) Household Goods - Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
12) Toucan Surf - JAWS
11) The Full Retard - El-P
10) Honey - Swim Deep
9) Cough Cough - Everything Everything
8) Higher Ground - TNGHT
7) Breezeblocks - alt-J
6) Follow Baby - PEACE

5) Pink Matter (Ft. André 3000) - Frank Ocean

Not only was the most reflective and brilliantly introverted moment of Frank Oceans' album, but also the best rap verse of the entire year. Quick yet tender, it showed André has definitely still got it.

4) Oblivion - Grimes

Only someone as brilliantly fucked as Grimes could turn a simple synth loop into a blissed-out, trippy masterpiece. The swirling vocal combined with dark lyrics give it an edge and vulnerability others would have ruined.

3) Goldie - A$AP Rocky

One of the tasters for Rocky's long awaited début, this goes hard from beginning to end. From the chopped n screwed chorus to the seemingly effortless bars delivered in Rocky's nonchalant flow this is A$AP's mission statement.

2) Clique - Kanye West, Jay-Z & Big Sean

Oh Kanye, Kanye, Kanye, let me count the ways I love you. You make Big Sean seem decent, bring out the best verse Jay-Z has had all year, whilst delivering the best brag-rap song of the year. Only you, Kanye, could refer to your mates as a clique. Only you, Kanye, could rap "Pass me refreshment, a cool, cool beverage", and make it sound cool. Only you, Kanye, could go this HAM.

1) King City - Swim Deep

Easily the best track of the year by easily the best new band of this year. This is escapism at it's finest. From the opening, sparse synth line to the crescendo at the end, everything about this song is perfect.  It may not have much of a message, but I would definitely marry Jenny Lee-Lindberg.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

September 12 Playlist

IT'S BACK. I'm lazy and so haven't done this for a while, so excuse the long gap. Also found out that I can use posts n here for my degree portfolio. Since posting my last playlist, I've done many things, seen many places, matured. SRSLY. Anyway, here's my playlist for last month.

1) Clique- Kanye West, Jay Z & Big Sean
2) Hard In Da Paint- Waka Flocka Flame
3) Bugg'n- TNGHT
4) Never Never- SBTRKT
5) Stronger- Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
6) Syh- Egyptian Hip Hop
7) Bloodshake- PEACE
8) All I Wanna Do- Splashh
9) Toucan Surf- Jaws
10) Pink Matter (Ft. André 3000)- Frank Ocean
11) Hypocritical Kiss- Jack White
12) Police In Helicopter- John Holt
13) Shimmy Shimmy Ya- Prince Fatty
14) Professional Ganja Smoker- General Levy
15) The Full Retard- El-P
16) Bath Salt- A$AP Mob
17) Rapping 2 U- Das Racist
18) Jackie Wilson Said (I'm In Heaven)- Dexys Midnight Runners
19) I Can See Through You- The Horrors
20) Uptight (Everything's Alright)- Stevie Wonder

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Best of the 90's

Let's be brutally honest; the 90's were shit. It was literally the worst era for music. I mean ok, as a child I probably didn't experience all the "greats" of the period, but as a fully fledged man-child, I have since explored them. And seriously, the 90's were awful. Britpop? What was that? Grunge? Seriously? So with this in mind I have compiled a list of the best tunes of the 90's. So what they have no artistic merit, play any of these songs at a party and watch the room crumble like your 6th birthday all over again.

5) 5678 - Steps

Steps were definitely better than S Club. Seriously, no contest. S Club were sell outs and had their own TV show due to (probably) poor album sales, whereas Steps kept it real and never lost a member. Although apparently some really weird shit happened behind the scenes. Anyway, this is their best original song. I mean who DOESN'T love a good hoe down?

4) Cotton Eye Joe - Rednex

Continuing with the hoe down theme with this absolute banger. I'm not really sure what anyone's saying, don't understand why there's a banjo solo and don't even think their rednecks (watch for the very sterotypical cowboys video), but I don't think I care. With possibly some of the best violin work of any song, I challenge anyone not to dosey doe to this.

3) Two Princes - Spin Doctors

This song gets no where near the amount of respect it deserves. I mean, it's a college rock classic, taking all the shit, depressing bits out of grunge and making them fun. I mean, Kurt Cobain never sounded anywhere near this chirpy. Interestingly this song was released a year before his death, so maybe the realisation he'd never be this good drove him to suicide (just sayin'). Also the band performed this on Sesame Street, and you can't get better than that.

2) Three Lions (96) - The Lightening Seeds ft. Skinner and Baddiel

Not only is this the best football song ever written, it's just a brilliant song. The reminder of every defeat sends grown men into hysterics, whilst the chorus gives them the perfect lift. It just all pieces together so perfectly. When I first heard aged about 4, I had no idea what the lyrics meant, I just knew it was a great song. As I slowly pieced the lyrics together, me and my dad would put it on every time England played and belt it out together. If you haven't had an emotional moment to this song, you have not lived.

1) Livin La Vida Loca

This is the best song of the 90's, hands down. Nothing else really comes close. I posted it on Facebook a few days ago and the amount of love that came in for this song shows how loved it was/is. So what it turned out Ricky Martin was gay and all his songs had been a sham? HE WAS COOL. Also, just listen to the music! I would pay someone a lot of money to find a better trumpet riff and Latino guitar solo than the ones in this song. He was the king of cheese, and therefore king of the 90's. CHOON.

Obviously you'll disagree with me. But you're wrong so it doesn't matter. And obviously there are some other great songs, but these are definitely the best 5. THX 4 REEDIN