Hello COED Nation…Happy Spring! I feel revived. I just came back from a vacation in the Dominican Republic where I listened to a lot of great music, as well as soaked in some truly phenomenal weather, had some tasty beverages and tons of fine cuisine. I’m ready for my spring surge to start. Bring on 2nd quarter releases and the emergence of the summer concert series. Let’s not waste any time to blow your mind with great music. Check out my songs of the week below then vote for your favorite in our poll at the bottom of the post.
“You are not a Tourist” by Death Cab for Cutie
Is there a better band name than Death Cab for Cutie? I’m not quite so sure, but maybe if you dug around for one you could come up with a few good ones. (One Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, ring a bell?) But I have to say, the name is definitely one of a kind and fits this Washington indie rock band quite well. I have been a Death Cab fan for quite some time now. Have had the pleasure to seen them live on multiple occasions, even during a rain storm at McCarren Pool Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that they were murdering before Annie Lennox and the rains came in. (just a joke Annie) They are honest and talented, and don’t compromise their integrity for anyone. They took some flack when the little indie train they were on moved over to Atlantic records, but all that did was produce some of the bands finest work, 2006’s “Plans,” and 2008’s “Narrow Stairs.” Both albums brought critical praise, Grammy nominations, and a wider fan base. Now Death Cab is back with their upcoming release, “Codes and Keys,” and the albums first single, “You are not a Tourist.” Ben Gibbard, lead vocalist, is back in vintage form with his signature sound and heartfelt lyrics. He definitely knows how to connect with his audience. I am looking forward to seeing this band get after it at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC in early June. I know their name is crazy but their music is spot on.
“Make Some Noise” by the Beastie Boys
Mike D, MCA, and the King Ad Rock, are legends. Better known as the Beastie Boys, these three forty-somethings have been putting in work in the hip hop game for over 25 years. 25 years in hip hop? Fuggetaboutit! That’s a lifetime for rappers. They have transcended racial lines, overcome stereotypes, knocked over haters, won over critics, and are beloved by millions all over the world for their undeniable ability to punch you in the face with raw, great, fun music. They are considered pioneers in the rap game and all of their praise is very well due. In 2007 they were nominated for induction to the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. Not bad for three guys who started off as a punk rock band from Brooklyn. After dropping classic opuses such as “Paul’s Boutique,” “Check Your Head,” “Ill Communication,” and “Hello Nasty,” the b-boys are back with their latest album “Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2” featuring the lead single, “Make Some Noise.” The song is classic Beasties, with each emcee spitting hot flava over a funky arcade like beat. The song makes you want to dance. It’s so great to hear MCA on a track again after battling and beating cancer. During the making of this album, the band had to take a break when MCA discovered he had a cancerous tumor in his partoid gland. I’m so happy they are back. I really hope that they tour. And this track will definitely make you want to “Make Some Noise.” Nice work boys.
“Battery Kinzie” by Fleet Foxes
I know that the new Fleet Foxes album, “Helplessness Blues” is not out yet, but I have had the priviledge of obtaining a copy early and have been completely blown away by everything that I have heard. When Fleet Foxes came out with their self-titled debut album, I was taken a back by how beautiful and peaceful it was. I hadn’t really heard music like that in a while. They combine the vocal harmonies of the Beach Boys and Simon and Garfunkel, with a splash of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, using acoustic sounds to create a large impact. The band, originally from Seattle, Washington, is creating an indie folk revival, along with Local Natives and Blitzen Trapper, that are big into harmonies. Their sound is very unique and nothing like what you will hear on the radio, which is why I like and appreciate them so much. Robin Peckingfold, lead vocalist and songwriter for Fleet Foxes, is one deep dude, who is not afraid to lay his heart on his sleeve in his songs. “Battery Kinzie” is an upbeat track off of the brilliant “Helplessness Blues” album which comes out in May. The song is just majestic. I know that after this record, we may not be able to call them “indie” anymore, because I see huge things happening to and for this band.
“The Moon & the Sky” (Remix) by Sade feat. Jay-Z
Sade and Jay-Z? Together on the same track? Am I dreaming? Nope…it’s a reality folks. Two of the most amazing artists in music, not just today, but of all time, have teamed up for a ridiculously sexy, head banging track. Sade will always be, for me at least, the sacred queen of music. No one has made such sexy, irresistible, timeless music that is loved by people all over the world. She has sold over 50 million albums worldwide. The lady is an icon. Match her up with the king of hip hop, Mr. Carter, aka Jay –Z, and you have a bonafide smash on your hand. “The Moon & the Sky” is the lead single off of Sade’s latest musical gem, 2010’s “Soldier of Love.” When the beat drops, your instantly hooked. Sade’s seductive, soulful grooves, and her ability to bring you in close, make this track a standout and one of my favorite songs out right now. It’s a great song to listen to with a loved one. Sade the sultry queen of sex is back with another banger ya’ll. Cop it!
“Ignition” (Remix) by R. Kelly
I had to come with a throwback track for Friday. R. Kelly has been making hits long before he was peeing on young girls. And I think sometimes we forget that Kelly was the big dawg in R&B for quite some time. His ability to connect vocally with a track is his sweet spot. Bottom line, the dude can sing his butt off. But he also knew how to go from being sexy with his slow jams to dominating the club with uptempo party anthems. “Ignition” was a song off Kelly’s 2002 “Chocolate Factory” album. But it wasn’t until he dropped the remix that the notoriety for that track really kicked in. “It’s the remix to ignition, hot and fresh out the kitchen, mama rollin that body, got every man in here wishin, sippin on coke and rum, im like so what im drunk, it’s the freakin weekend baby, I’m about to have me some fun.” Can you make a better chorus for a song than that? The song has been name in Pitchfork’s top 500 songs of all time list, coming in a #19 and in Rolling Stone’s 500 greatest songs of all time list, coming in at #494. “Ignition” (remix) will remain one of R. Kelly’s best accomplishments for a long time. You throw this record on a party and you’ll have no one sitting on their feet.
Let me know your thoughts about this week’s songs. Be sure to vote for your favorite. Holla at me on twitter (@aljonesy) and have a great week COED Nation!
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