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Windows Presents: Best Coast in San Francisco

ImageLast week,somewhere in the depths of San Francisco a line of tech geeks and music fans (mostly tech geeks) waited impatiently in the brisk SF breeze for a preview of the latest Windows technology and an intimate session of live music with one of my favorite bands, Best Coast.   This gathering for music and technology was sponsored by Microsoft in an effort to promote their new Windows Phone. Besides free entry, guests were treated to free drinks and food and got prizes for completing social networking challenges like posting their location on Foursquare or for winning a duel of Fruit Ninja. Image All of the over stimulus made getting to the front for Best Coast a breeze, and fans were greeted with a performance so close to Bethany you could smell her perfume. Of course the musical genius of the bands production Bobb Bruno played his soft spoken yet pivotal roll beside his bandmate. Unfortunately the bands drummer Ali Koehler was not in attendance and it has been announced that for reasons beyond her control, the former Vivan Girls drummer is no longer a member of the band. Image After catching them this year at Coachella and Outsidelands let me tell you, Bethany’s can effortlessly fill a room with her brand of girly hopeless romanticism. But on this night it was something completely different, her voice sounded like something off a Vinyl, so on point I saw girls in tears in by the fourth song. Her guitar game was on point, and Bobb was out there jamming as the hundred or so Best Coast fans were given a glimpse of what music heaven is like. Image Despite the loss of Ali, I suspect all is good in the world of Best Coast as To my delight. As they came on stage Bethany announced “Hi, we’re Best Coast, and we’re going to play you some summer songs in the winter.” They opened their set with my favorite track at the moment “When I’m With You”, and avoided songs that didn’t support the up beat vibe they were on. It was like hearing the standout tracks off their debut album for the first time. “Summer Mood”, “Crazy For You”, “Our Deal”, and of course “Want You” sounded better than ever and were only rivaled by the LP itself. Image To top off the night, Bobb and Bethany were happy to announce that they’ve been working on their new album and hope to have it ready in 2012. And just like any dedicated Best Coast fan, that is all I want for Christmas.
-GodBlessCali

Low End Theory SF Featuring Thundercat and Flying Lotus

The Low End Theory returned to San Francisco Friday night with a few more surprises than anyone could have expected.

With Brainfeeder artists all over the bill including Low End resident Gaslamp Killer and headliner Thundercat, it was almost overwhelming to hear a couple of hours before the show that Brainfeeder domo Flying Lotus would be playing alongside Thundercat for what turned out to be an epic show.

Thundercat came out ready to jam on his triumphant bass that sports the Thundercat logo. This show was for everyone that’s heard his amazing album Golden Age of the Apocalypse; as the loving soul music took over the venue, the people turned into a wave, grooving to an excellent set and display of musical brilliance.

Flying Lotus was happy to give his man his moment, but the best part of the night came when they were both on stage, Thundercat on bass, Flying Lo DJing, ushering in a style that has inspired countless individuals including Thundercat. They have a tremendous amount of musical chemistry for having such an obscure ear and sounds. Their music easily blends into a chilled out, 2011 jazz/electronic bond, which quickly resonates into your entire being, in a beautiful way.

After a good set from Thundercat, the entire building got a treat when Flying Lo went into his own music catalog; busting out sounds from Cosmogramma to the best remix of Waka Flocka’s “Hard in the Paint” I’ve ever heard. Lo manipulated one of the most exciting (and overused) beats into a monster, filled with the most bass I experienced all night (a feat performing with Low End bass head like Gaslamp Killer).

From the look of things over at Brainfeeder, with Thundercat officially released to the masses, and an as always inspired Flying Lotus piloting the jet, they should be in store for a fun festival season in 2012.

Listen to Thundercat’s entire album The Golden Age of the Apocalypse below:



The Smokers Club Tour

The most underrated Hip-Hop show came through San Francisco this week, and by the size of the crowd I wouldn’t be surprised if you missed it.

Not only did underground hip-hops current MVP Curren$y drop by to deliver his worldly, stoner, you can do it too flow; but he was accompanied by the only rapper featured on Biggie Smalls first album, Wu-Tang Clan general, and arguably one of the most underrated rappers of all time, the one and only Method Man.

Curren$y is in the middle of another solid year, he released his 3rd studio album in July to upstanding reviews; but like any true underground king, his most genuine work was done on the three mixtapes he’s released since January, most notably the Alchemist produced Covert Coup that was released over the summer.

Uncharacteristic of the New Orleans rapper is what he’s been up to the last few months. Since breaking his foot in an attempt to meet his fans at Rock the Bells in Los Angeles we haven’t heard many new songs from Spitta. Instead he’s been steadily growing his empire, creating Jet Life Records; not only as a platform for he and his crew to release new music, he’s signed Sir Michael Rocks (one half of The Cool Kids) and Smoke Dza to the label. A power play meant to unite an already talented group of rappers under the same roof.

Method Man has taken a different route this year, since headlining the Rock the Bells festival last year, he’s been on a hiatus from the music world only to return as the headliner of the Smokers Club tour. Creating arguably the best touring hip-hop show of the year.

Curren$y brought a full on show for the fans at the Warfield, interacting with fans in between songs and showcasing a flow that always seems to drown out the production instead of the other way around. In each and every way he is like no other rapper, he’s as much of a pound for pound lyricists live as he is on recorded tracks, a master of every beat he touches and quite literally a monster entertainer.

Unfortunately the only thing missing from his set was energy, much like Tyler, the Creator was when he suffered a broken foot, Spitta had to perform sitting down.

The highlight of the set came when Bay Area legend Andre Nickatina came out to perform a song to everyone’s delight including Curren$y’s, who admitted to being a huge Nickatina fan “Anyone who follows me on twitter knows how much of a fan I am of that mans music”.

As Curren$y left the stage, I felt unprepared for Method Man’s set, not that I didn’t know his music, I just had no idea what to expect. This man has been in the game for almost two decades! Rappers are rarely built to last, but in Method Man’s case, I was about to understand how and why it’s been so long.

Method Man came out with the one thing most rappers struggle so hard to access on any given night: raw emotional energy. He was live and we were the witnesses of a true master of ceremonies, performing classics like M.E.T.H.O.D Man on stage, then stage diving into the crowd, concluding the song surrounded by fans, some aware of how monumental the moment was, others just excited to be close to a man they know as a legend. Throughout the performance Meth would scream into the mic, front flip into the crowd, and demand that they respect his energy by reciprocating it, which they did, resoundingly. Meth is a 40-year-old rapper performing like a 25 year old. The definition of a young soul with a creative mind, I could only imagine what he was like in his prime, though I’m sure I got a taste of it that night.



Mixtape Review: Under the Influence by Odd Future’s Damier Genesis

Odd Future’s resident stoner Damier Genesis fulfilled his promise to fans and uploaded his new project Under The Influence to his Tumblr at 4:20 pm yesterday.

This is Domo’s second project, after 2010’s Rolling Paper was released only months before “Yonkers” went viral and the group exploded into mainstream media. Since then, Domo has completed two international tours, which included the European festival circuit and major festivals in the U.S. this summer.

Under The Influence sparked Domo as a treading topic worldwide on twitter, and has reached over 100,000 downloads in less than 12 hours.  The mixtape features  classic hip-hop cuts including “Boss Life” by Snoop Dogg, “Guess Who’s Back” by Scarface , and a few Kanye West samples, amongst other production done by new producers Rahki, Uzowuru, Tha Bizness,and Hannibal King.

This mixtape competes with any other Hip-Hop album or mixtape offering this year by any underappreciated stoner rapper or mainstream artist. From beginning to end Under the Influence is a well displayed full length album which never seems to fall apart. If a track is breezy, Domo’s flow seems effortless; his casual flow is his best trait, the way he attacks beats with precision look like its no sweat is one of the many ways his overall flow has improved. “Shine”, “Glory” and “Benediciton” are particularly exceptional tracks, each track has flawless production; but still end up being complementary to Domo’s lyrical ability, not the other way around.

Odd Future head honcho Tyler, The Creator makes an appearance on “Whole City Behind Us” in apparently what was his first verse in 7 months. Good news, Tyler has benefitted from his world travel’s as well, dropping a classic verse letting the haters who have anything negative to say about his album know, “Goblin was a disappointment/Yeah right/shit dropped I bought a house that night”. Casey Veggies also lends a nice verse on a the track “Guess Who’s Back” that lets you know the recent high school grad is in the right mind frame.

Grade: A-

You can listen & download to Domo’s album below.

Track list after the jump!

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Lil’ Wayne: Sorry 4 the Wait

Today Lil’ Wayne droppred his first project since getting out of jail.

The tape mostly consists of freestyles over some of todays most popular beats. Tracks like Drake’s “Marvin’s Room”,Gunplay’s “Rollin'”, Meek Mill and Rick Ross’ “Tupac Back”, and Kreayshawn’s “Gucci Gucci”. It only features two guests: Wayne’s Young Money protege Gudda Gudda and indie-rap weirdo superstar Lil B. Check out the tracklist below.

Download the mixtape here

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Great Albums out this Month

July so far, has been an excellent month for really good new music. Here are a few albums that are worth a listen .

Washed Out – Within and Without

A chillwave album that sets its hooks with sly synths. There’s a lush, snowy warmth to the production that makes it a hard album to turn off.

 

 

 

 

 

The Cool Kids – When Fish Ride Bicycles

After three years of delay because of “record label jail” Michael Reed and Chuck Ingersoll were finally able to drop their much anticipated first studio album. The innovators of what has been the new generation of hip-hop after the fall of gangster rap offer a bass-knocking, lyrically innovative project that demonstrates all they have learned since their original EP Bake Sale in 2008. The best word I can use to describe it is consistent. (more…)


Best Albums of 2011, Mid-Year

From electro-pop to acoustic ballads, our list of best albums from the first half of 2011 covers the musical spectrum.

Metronomy

J Mascis – Several Shades of Why

The resurgence of American roots and folk music in the mainstream, with bands like Mumford and Sons and the Avett Brothers, is not limited to the pop charts. After years of offering only glimpses of his acoustic work with Dinosaur Jr. and other projects,  J Mascis finally released his first solo acoustic album — 10 melancholic and delicate tracks. Solo acoustic releases this year from Thurston Moore and Kurt Vile offer solid support.

TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light
Despite a temporary relocating to Hollywood to record Nine Types of Light, the album feels like an extension to 2008’s critically acclaimed release Dear Science. With a mix out expansive soundscapes and uptempo glitches, TVOTR can do no wrong at this point.

Austra – Feel It Break

The darkness is contagious in this opera-singer turned mega-crooner ‘s debut album. I would be remiss if I attempted to label this a dance album. That label does not give it justice nor does it even touch upon the depth of character contained within. Katie Stelmanis has produced a hypnotic and emotive chrysalis into which we have been given entrance, and it is an experience we are likely to be forever changed by.

Des Ark – Don’t Rock the Boat, Sink the Fucker
Aimée Argote is the musician that we should be introducing to each and every adolescent that we have contact with. Her message is aggressive, positive and free. She teaches love, hate and everything in between with compassion and honesty. Classes should be taught on this woman and her musicianship.

James Blake – James Blake

An album depressing enough to make just about anyone long for a better future. Side effects may include nostalgia and standing in the rain.

House of Balloons – The Weeknd
An album sexy enough to make just about anyone want to remove various articles of clothing. Side effects may include listening to Aaliyah, calling an ex, and the obvious.

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