Friday, July 29, 2011

Weekly Top 5: Song Titles Inspired by Movies

Have you ever been watching a movie and you hear a quote that you swear you've heard somewhere before? Then the next day you're cruising through your iTunes and there's a moment of clarity; the quote was used as a song title by some pop-punk or hardcore band. Needless to say, there were a lot of these moments in high school.

I've seen lists similar to this where they discuss songs that were inspired by movies. For instance, "Bad Moon Rising" was inspired by the film The Devil and Daniel Webster. This list will only be songs whose titles were lifted straight from a movie.

The only rule was one song per band and they were judged on both the quality of the quote and the quality of the song. Enjoy!

Honorable Mention
"San Dimas High School Football Rules" by The Ataris (taken from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure)
"State Bird, The Mosquito"
by Ever We Fall (taken from Wet Hot American Summer)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Maniac

More new music from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's upcoming album Hysterical. In exchange for your email, you'll receive a free download for "Maniac". Enjoy!

Weekly Artist Profile: Seryn

This 5 piece folk-rock group hailing from Denton, Texas have crafted a beautiful album full of layered guitars, vocal harmonies and extensive instrumentation. This is Where we Are, to me, sounds like the lovechild of Anathallo and Fleet Foxes as the songs often start slowly but build into bold, soaring crescendos.

After the jump you can listen to a few live performances of songs from This is Where we Are as well as find a link to their recent Daytrotter recording.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Weekly Top 5: Most Anticipated Albums of 2011

2011 has been an incredible year of music thus far and we haven't even reached August. There's still a slew of albums set to be released and these are the one's I'm most excited about (only albums with set release dates were included).

Honorable Mention:
J. Cole - Cole World: The Sideline Story (due out September 27th)
A.A. Bondy - Believers (due out September 13th)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Music from Beirut

Beirut is set to release their new album, The Rip Tide on August 30th. The first single off of that album, "East Harlem", has been streaming for a while now but now you can get the mp3 thanks to KEXP radio. Click here to download the excellent new song from the gypsy-folk outfit.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekly Top 5: Sets at Pitchfork Music Festival 2011

We apologize for the lack of posts recently but the majority of the staff here at A Brief Intermission were in Chicago enjoying the 2011 Pitchfork Music Festival. As such, this weeks first top 5 (there will be another on Friday) will be highlighting the best sets of an incredible weekend of music.

Before I get to the list, I feel compelled to give a big time shout out to a few people. The first is the management and organizers of Pitchfork. The festival was very well run and minus a few time clogs and shortened sets on the Blue Stage, the overall experience was excellent. In addition to excellent organization, the security and safety were absolutely top class. In a year, where music festivals have brought about a slew of injuries and even deaths, its a testament to the staff that there were no serious injuries this past weekend. Finally, big ups to Shabazz Palaces, who played an absolutely incredible show at Lincoln Hall on Saturday night. Because it wasn't a part of the actual festival, it won't be on the top 5, but had it been it would probably be number 1. Their set at the actual festival was great as well but in the outdoor setting the beats didn't hit nearly as hard.

All photos are courtesy of Pitchfork. Click for all of the photos.

Honorable Mention:

Curren$y - Great set but one verse per song just isn't enough. I want more!
Animal Collective - Trippy visuals and stage set-up. Performance was better than the music.
No Age - Rocked it so incredibly hard; even without their sampler.
Twin Shadow - Set got cut short unfortunately. I wanted more of this!
Kurt Vile and the Violators - The drummer was so incredible. Extended jams were killer.
TV on the Radio - Never been a huge fan but the second half of their set made me a believer.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Weekly Artist Profile: Shabazz Palaces

Shabazz Palaces is the new project from former Digable Planets MC Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler and after releasing two EPs in 2010, he’s back with his debut full length, Black Up. While it’s a hip-hop album at its core, this album blows right through boundaries, experimenting with different genres, sounds and flows, often all within the same song. This is dangerous as the artists sacrifice the coherency of the song and run the risk of sounding like a mumbling drunk on pain pills. But despite all the experimentation, Black Up flows perfectly and retains a sense of mystery; you never know what’s going to happen next.

Joey D said to me the other day “this is the future hip-hop.” While I really can’t imagine hip-hop ever going in this direction, this is the first time in my life that I really hope I’m wrong.

I also have to give a big shout out to KEXP radio in Seattle. They are undeniably the best radio station in the United States and I've been completely obsessed with their live studio performances. After the jump check out Shabazz Palaces' in studio performance for KEXP as well as the allegorical short film for their Self Titled EP.

Movie Review: Midnight in Paris

I don’t like Woody Allen.

That may seem like a blasphemous statement for an aspiring film geek like myself, as Woody Allen is often thought of as one of the best filmmakers of the last half-century, but I don’t mind making such a bold judgment because it is my own personal taste. I don’t deny that he has skill. He takes some beautiful shots of the cities in which he films and, to an extent, I can see the appeal. It is especially odd that I don’t like Woody Allen because understated, dialogue-heavy, philosophical, and character driven films are usually the type that I just eat up. Add romantic relationships to the mix and I’m usually in love (i.e. “Before Sunset” and “Before Sunrise”). However, there is one aspect of Woody Allen’s films that I can never get past and it tends to ruin them entirely…

Monday, July 11, 2011

Album Stream: Portugal. The Man. - In The Mountain In The Cloud

Sarah Palin's favorite band, Portugal. The Man, just can't be stopped, but followers of the band already know that. In The Mountain In The Cloud, set to be released next week on July 19th, will be their 6th full-length in six years. Mix that in with several EPs and incessant touring, and that's just an incredible feat.

If you want to get a jump on the new album, Paste Magazine is already streaming the whole thing here. Go check it out. Now.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Weekly Top 5: Guilty Pleasures

This week's top 5 deals with my personal guilty pleasure songs. Some of these songs are by all intents and purposes, "bad" songs, while others are actually pretty good. Whichever way you slice it, I'm all sorts of embarrassed that these are in my iTunes.

Before I actually get into the songs, let me paint a picture for you. You're in your apartment enjoying a nice bowl of cereal on the couch, when you see a lot of movement in the apartment across the way. You ignore it at first, but with the window open you start to hear audible sounds coming from across the way. You get up to check out the scene and to tell them to "shut the fuck up" but are shocked and appalled to see a 5'9" man, with a beer belly and a truck stache wearing only a towel. His hair's slicked back and he's using the comb as a microphone like Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone. It's like a car wreck; its awful but you just can't look away. Then everything goes south when he rocks a little too hard and the towel comes off; you are scarred for life! Welcome to the life of my next door neighbor

Honorable Mention:
Murder on the Dancefloor by Sophie Ellis-Bextor from the album Read My Lips
Irreplaceable by Beyonce from the album B'Day

Interview: Kevin Devine

Back in April, I got the chance to sit down with one of our favorite artists, Kevin Devine. It was just before his show at the University at Albany, which was unfortunately restricted to students only. Luckily, Mike and I found our way in and I was able to meet up with Devine. He was still in the process of tinkering with the band's latest CD Between the Concrete & Clouds, and this was one of the one-off shows the band had in between opening for Brand New, and just before his residency out in California. Devine had a bit of a cold and was hopped up on medicine, so he apologized if he seemed out of it and if his answers didn't make sense. But it turned out to be a very informative interview where we talked about the upcoming album, which comes out on September 13, what happens to him when he writes and records a new album and his thoughts on the "resurgence" of vinyl:

A Brief Intermission: The last time I talked to you, I think it was the last, one-off question, and I didn’t think I’d get an answer from this, you said there was a rap song that was going to be between you and Andy Hull. I never heard it if there was one.

Kevin Devine: Favorite Gentlemen sent it out as an incentive, like a bonus track thing for Bad Books. I think it was… Maybe it got sent out… I feel like it was around the ‘Stuffing Concert’ last year. They sent it to people who signed up on the mailing list or pre-ordered the record. It was some incentivized thing where if you did ‘X,’ you got ‘Y.’ ‘Y’ being ‘Thanklin’ Franklin’’

ABI: I wish I got on that.

KD: I’m sure you could probably find it if you, uh… I’m sure there are places on the internet. I don’t want to encourage illegal search and seizure. But there are places where you could find it.

ABI: What was the song?

KD: It’s a ridiculous song. It’s called ‘Thanklin’ Franklin.’’ There’s another one that never did come out, though, that was like this weird loop that [Chris] Freeman made and I’m just rapping and freestyling, Busta Rhymes kind of thing.

ABI: Can you freestyle well?

KD: Um, for a guy who’s not supposed to be doing it, I do it okay. There are no heavy-hitting rap acts that are quaking in their boots about my abilities.

ABI: There was something about you talking about your Jay-Z presence onstage…

KD: [Laughing] Is there really?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Common and Nas Blow Your Minds

Just when you thought Common was slipping, he decides to make a come back with a throw-back to his Common Sense days in the mid-90's with the track "Ghetto Dreams." The song sees some new energy breathed into the 39-year-old veteran, with a pounding beat that is sure to wake you up this afternoon. And added bonus, Nas tears it up with his own verse in the second half.

The songs is off of Common's upcoming LP The Dreamer, The Believer, with his old counterpart No I.D. producing the entire thing, according to an article on I've always been a fan of the Common Sense days and some of his earlier work as Common, so with news that No I.D. has been worked into the mix, expectations for this are high.

Just listen for yourself and get excited:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

New Music: Kevin Devine - "Between The Concrete and the Clouds"

Kevine Devine, a personal favorite of mine, is releasing a new album, titled Between The Concrete and the Clouds, later this year on September 13th. Devine's last full length effort, Brother's Blood, was one of the best releases of 2009, so expectations are high.

Below is the titular track, the first released from the upcoming album.

"Between The Concrete and the Clouds" by Kevin Devine by Razor & Tie

You can find a (free) download link to the song here, as well as some other info and tour dates.

The Best Albums of 2011... for now

I have loved every minute of 2011 so far. I have been overwhelmed with the amount of great music that has come out, and it doesn't seem anywhere near of stopping. Though there were unfortunately bad releases from Cold War Kids and Friendly Fires, everything else has been amazing. This will definitely change by the end of the year, as Incubus and Portugal. the Man have yet to release their albums, but here is what I have so far:

Honorable Mentions:

White Denim – D

Fucked Up –David Comes to Life

Manchester Orchestra – Simple Math

Smith Westerns – Dye it Blonde

Okkervil River – I Am Very Far

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Weekly Artist Profile: Charles Bradley

Charles Bradley, at the tender age of 62, is finally releasing his debut album. Within this debut, 62 years of pain and hardship are raveled together to create the most emotional release of the year.

He was born in Gainesville, Florida and raised on the streets of Brooklyn. After seeing James Brown in concert, Bradley was inspired to make music and entertain just like the Godfather. The seeds were planted but not yet allowed to grow due to his life situation. Bradley soon left Brooklyn as a part of the Job Corps program, ending up in Bar Harbor, ME where he learned to cook and formed his first band. The band was short-lived however, as most of the members were drafted into the Vietnam War. Bradley then spent a period of time working as a chef at a mental hospital near Poughkeepsie and then hitchhiked through Canada and Alaska, ending up in California. He worked the next 20 years as a chef on the left coast and spent most of his free-time playing any gig he could find. After, 20 years of service, Bradley was laid off from his job and ended up back in Brooklyn. Bradley's musical career started to take off as he performed under the name "Black Velvet" at local clubs. However, just as things started to look up for Bradley, his resolve was tested once again as his brother was shot and killed by his own son, Bradley's nephew. Over the next 11 years, Bradley kept working and finally, after 62 years, he's released the brilliant No Time For Dreaming.

In this album, he channels all that he's endured throughout his life and pours his heart out over the course of this 43-minute album. Listening to this album is a truly transcendent experience as you feel every sinew of pain and sorrow. After the jump, you can listen to 3 tracks off of his debut album and also watch two live videos of performance for KEXP radio.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Check Out These Songs!!

If you're looking for new music, here are some songs that may catch your interest:

Friday, July 1, 2011

Weekly Top 5: Curren$y Punchlines

Punchlines have the ability to make or break a hip hop song. A quality punchline should fill at least 1 of the following qualities: 1) Clever/Witty, 2) Talk shit on the competition, 3) Big up one's self, 4) Make me rewind to hear it again. This week, Curren$y, one of the punchline masters, released his newest album Weekend at Burnie's (which has to be in the running for best album artwork of the year). Therefore, to celebrate the release of the album, I'll be counting down his top 5 punchlines.

Honorable Mention:
"Sittin' in my living room high, listening to Jamoriquai, I'm just an ordinary guy, but I dress extraoridnarily fly." ~ Air Assault Featuring FS Jets from the mixtape Welcome to the Winner's Circle.

"Emotional luggage, nothing of it, I don't check bags, just carry on leave that bullshit in the past." ~ Airborne Aquarium from the album Pilot Talk II.