Thursday, February 24, 2011

Zeds Dead

Artist: Zeds Dead
Album: Zeds Dead
Genre: Electronic/Dubstep
Music: Player below

Zens Dead is an Ontario based pair of dubstep producers. After extensively searching the internet (googling the band three times), I found out that they get their name from a well known scene in Pulp Fiction where Butch Coolidge picks up Fabienne on a chopper and they ride off together trying to escape Marsellus. And that's it. Everything else I found while searching for information on this band was either a tiny snippet on where they got their name or some other bloggers feelings on their music, but nothing on the backstory of this Ontario duo. But thats not a bad thing, a google search of the band directs you to a ton of links to their music and their music is sick.

It doesn't do justice to Zens Dead to call these songs remixes. Mostly because the sounds of the original tracks are so far removed from the music that is Zen Dead's final product. There is usually enough of the original song to recognize what they're sampling but its still a very original take on the sounds. Their samples come from all over, with Radiohead, Sublime and The Rolling Stones just to name a few. My favorite track (because I am a nerd) is Dark Side Dub where they sample Darth Vader and Emperor Palpantine. Star Wars DUB! If you like dubstep/grimestep you'll get a kick out of this band. Check it out. 

Band website template

Zeds Dead Baby, Zeds Dead. 

Edit: Googled them a 4th time, found a page. Go figure.

Keep Rocking. 


Friday, February 18, 2011

Radiohead - The King of Limbs

Making it as a musician is tough. Countless people form bands, countless people fail. Of the few that actually make it to the main stage, a few will last long enough to see a third album, a handful will be relevant five years after their original debut. Most will fizzle away overtime, a distant memory of songs we used to love. Then there is Radiohead. The English alternative band have weathered 26 years together from the halls of Abingdon school to a worldwide phenomena, the band has been a tour de force in the music industry. Crucial to their success is the recurring need to change themselves, to remain original and on the cutting edge.  Today Radiohead released their 8th album and true to form it's a new original mystifying sound. The album is hauntingly beautiful, synthesizers, layered guitars, acoustic drums and of course Thom Yorke's voice are only a few of the sounds you'll hear on this. This is an album you just have to listen to from start to finish, then when it's done listen again.

King of Limbs was released a day early in a digital download and is available in a variety of formats depending on your level of fandom. It's 100% worth purchasing. You can download the album here: Radiohead - King of Limbs

Keep Rocking.

RJD2 - We are the Doorways

Artist: RJD2
Album: We are the Doorways
Genre: Synth Rock
Link to the Music: RJD2-We are the Doorways

Hi folks! Two big things today

1) We've breached the 10,000 visitor mark! Thanks to all of you who keep coming back for tunes despite my obscene love of harry potter.

2) New RJD2...yay?

Today's album is the new venture from Rjd2 We are the Doorways. Some of you older readers may remember the last time I reviewed RJD2's last full length album The Colossus (for those of you who never saw that one here's a link: The Colossus). I am going to save you all any comparison to RJD2's previous work because this album really is just a different beast altogether. The album sounds like it was primarily done on synthesizers, and while its cool, it's not what I was expecting/hoping for when I found out about the new album. The new sounds are a welcome change from songs like The Glow but none stand out enough to really discuss. The album is touted as a "soundtrack to a movie that doesnt exist" and after hearing the whole thing through multiple times, I wholeheartedly agree. Unfortunately, it's just as forgettable as the average soundtrack, but still worth a listen once or twice. I am holding out hope for the next Deadringer but with each new album RJ puts out, it looks like it's just not gonna happen.

For those of you who, unlike me, loved The Glow. RJD2 has released a three track remix of the Glow. Available here: The Glow Remixes

The remixes are worth a listen, Flosstradamus, Paolo and Candy Panther all take a different approach to the glitz and glamor of The Glow, but don't worry the inspired lyrics remain. "got the glow? we got the glow the clothes are neat, the women are beautiful". Truly this is a song that deserved multiple remixes. Check it out   for yourself and see what you think. 

Keep Glowing, no, rocking. Keep Rocking. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Kevin Valdez - Big Love

Hello readers! January was a big month for I & H  we fell just shy of 5,000 visitors. exciting! It may have something to do with this blog being the 4th most popular oboe image site on google, but I'd like to think its just the sick tunes we share here. 

I am going to kick off February with an original song I have been working on called Big Love. It's another Harry Potter song requested by reader Andrea about Hagrid and Grawp. The books don't have a ton of information on Grawp, so the song is about Hagrid's longing for a family. Lyrics below:

Big Love

Mama left home, when I was just a boy
Guess she wasn’t the mothering kind
And daddy tried, lord I know he tried
But in my second year of school, he died
I stumbled blindly looking for something to fit the hole
That had formed, in my heart
It wasn’t till Dumbledore sent me to the hills
That I found a cork, to make the pain stop

Cause I found you, and Big Love started
Cause I found you, to help me make this hut a home
Neither of us quite fit into the world where we live,
but together we can make it our own

I’ve been looking for love, ever since the day
That they snapped, my wand in half
Even though Dippett gave me a job and a home,
That happiness it could not last
Aragog, Fluffy, Fang, Norbet and Witherwings
All great in their own
None of them ever could replace, the family
I was dying to know

But then I found you, and Big Love started
I found you to help me make this hut a home
Neither of us quite fit into the world where we live,
But together we can make it on our own

Now we got Big Love (repeat 4x)

A brother that I never knew,
 a bit rough around the edges
likes to punch, grab scream and roar
uproot trees around the forest
You can call me hagger,
I don’t care if cant pronounce it
I got the love I was searching for,
You-know who can’t destroy it

I've got a lot of new music to share in the upcoming days so keep checking back. As always, if you have a Harry Potter relationship you think deserves a song leave it in the comments.

Keep Rocking.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Smiths Western - Dye it Blonde

Aritst: Smith Westerns
Album: Dye it Blonde
Genre: Indie Rock
Link to the Music: Smith Westerns - Dye it Blonde

The Smith Westerns, an Indie Rock band based out of Chicago, released their second album, Dye it Blonde, January 18 of 2011. The bands first self titled album was recorded almost entirely in the basement of guitarist Max Kakeck's Chicago home it was characterized by it's lo-fi garage rock sound. For their latest release the band signed with Fat Possum records and had access to a proper studio. The lo-fi sound that characterized their first album is gone, replaced with a polished sound and tons of reverb. Reverb was the first thing I noticed on the album, when you hear Weekend a wavy keys melody kicks into a guitar riff that adds even more reverb. Lead singer Cullen Omari has a light, effervescent voice that melds into the light indie rock sounds of Dye it Blonde and floats gently on top of all the reverb they managed to shove in there

Cullen Omarie mentioned in an interview with metromix that "I think 23 is really old...When I'm 23, I want to be, like, much more successful with music than I am now". Here we are a year later and the Smith Western's sophmore release is head and shoulders above their last album. Their newest album shows a lot of promise, and I look forward to seeing what else this young Chicago band puts out in the next 3 years, before they're "really old".

Keep Rocking.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Janice Whaley - The Smiths Project

Artist: Janice Whaley
Album: The Complete Smith's Project
Genre: Acapella, Indie, Cover
Link to the Music: The Complete Smiths Project

Twenty three years ago The Smiths an alternative/indie band from the UK broke up, to date there has been no reunion tour. Some of you may remember the hilariously vulgar comment made by Smiths frontman Steven Patrick Morrissey that he would "rather eat [his] own testicles then reform the Smiths". You may be wondering then what a band that broke up when Ronald Reagan was in office (and also the same year yours truly was born) doing here on I&H? Well today's album comes to us from San Francisco singer Janice Whaley and is a cover of every original Smiths song that has been released. This 71 track juggernaut doesn't stop at just covering the songs though, instead of the generic Smiths cover bands this album is 100% acapella. For those of you unfamiliar with acapella singing, it just means it's all vocal and there is no instrument accompaniment. Whaley layered hundreds of tracks of her own singing to produce the album and it is truly mesmerizing the work that she put into this while still maintaining her job and caring for her 4 year old son as a single mother.

It takes a while to listen to the entire thing, but is truly a testament to Whaely's dedication and devotion to The Smiths and her craft. The purchase price may seem daunting coming in at $60, but she had to cover costs to buy the rights to reproduce the 71 songs.

If you only want a certain album (e.g. The Queen is Dead) these can be found either on Whaleys website:

Or by perusing her bandcamp page.

Keep Rocking.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Robyn - Bodytalk

Body Talk [Explicit] [+Digital Booklet]

Artist: Robyn
Album: Body Talk
Genre: Electropop
Link to the Music: Robyn -Body Talk

Today's album Body Talk by Robyn has been on my "music to listen to" list since early December. During exams, I didn't listen to it because I can't study to music with words. Then I forgot to pick it up before I went to Trinidad, so here we are, a month+ after this final album in the Body Talk trilogy was released and I finally got around to listening to this album. The Body Talk trilogy was released from September to November by Swedish artist Robyn. Body Talk features 10 songs from Body Talk pt. 1 and pt. 2 and has 5 original tracks (separately available as Body Talk pt. 3). 

With electropop the singers often have a tendency to sing in cold, emotionless, robotic voices. Not here, well at least not always. Don't Fucking Tell me what to do and Love Kills conform to a more standard electropop emotionless soundscape. But then songs like Get Myself Together and Dancing my Own convey a level of vocal emotion that isn't common in this genre.

The synth sounds on this album are really well produced and are my favorite part of the album. The synth on Indestructible sounds straight out of a Daft Punk album. The music is really well produced and compliments Robyn's vocals well. 

The album has done really well with other reviewers, and if you read the top 100 albums for other music reviewers, its usually in the top 20. I enjoyed the album but not enough to say it's one of my favorites of 2010. It's worth listening to if you're into electropop but if you're not, this isn't a "can't miss" album. 

Keep Rocking.