Monday, February 6, 2012

New Artist Discovery: Mitchmatic - "It's Probably Raining"

I just made a great discovery. Just to give you a little background, I very rarely like any sort of rap or hip-hop related tunes, so this was a surprising find for me. You may be asking me what I find different about this guy from all of the other rappers out there, so here's my answer: I have no idea. I just know that there' something about him that's different, and I like it a lot.

    So, Mitchmatic's latest release It's Probably Raining was just released this past week. I'm not sure if you'd want to consider it an EP or an album, though it doesn't really matter. I'd been looking all over for some new music I could enjoy and share with others, but for some reason nothing really stood out to me. Then upon me trolling all over the music side of the internet, I found my new favorite artist.
    Mitchmatic seems to blend a lot of jazz into his beats. (Is that what they should be called? I don't know what I'm talking about here.) In this album's single "Why Don't You Know?" he actually uses a sample from a 1960's children's show. The thing that draws me in most about this 8-track mixtape, is that Mitch uses a lot of ideas I haven't heard before, and of course he leaves me with the feeling that any good artist should leave you with: wanting more.
    All in all, this is a great release from an eclectic artist. I can't wait to hear more from him.

P.S. I should also mention that this album (and his discography as a whole) is COMPLETELY FREE, you just have to go here:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Mixtape #9: My Favorite Music Of 2011

Well, it's been quite a year hasn't it? This week, I'm going to bombard you with my favorite music of this year. I've split it up into four categories: Favorite Discoveries, Favorite New Artists, Favorite Surprises, Favorite Albums. Lets get started, shall we?

Favorite Discoveries

This is where I pick out bands or musicians who've been around for awhile, but I haven't heard about yet.

Track 1. Pearl And The Beard - "Douglas Douglass": When I first heard these guys, I was instantly hooked. Their songwriting is pretty simple, but they beef it up with whatever they can. (Including bell sets, cellos, and three way harmonies.) This band just makes me feel great. This album has songs that make you laugh, and songs that may make you tear up (at least inside).

Track 2. Josh Garrels - "White Owl": I'm honestly surprised that more people don't know about this amazing guy. With this album he partnered with an astounding music organization called Mason Jar Music,  They recorded his songs by adding simple stringed instruments and a lot of color to his soft voice. (Not in a bad way, of course. But in a beautiful way.) Oh, and I should also mention that this album is 100% free. You can download it here. This album just beautiful, what else can I say? It's has everything; short songs, epic songs, soft songs, loud songs, instrumentals . . . everything. The whole album sort of unfolds into this striking piece of art.

Track 3. The Wood Brothers - "Stumbled In":  This is another band that I just fell in love with the first time I heard them. One of the best kept secrets in the world of music. I really do need to ask the strange question: why don't a lot more people like this band? Their music is accessible, but in no way "half-baked" or only skin-deep. Great, fun, solid music.

Favorite New Artists
There were a lot of great, new ideas brought to the table this year. Here are some of my favorites. I can't wait to hear more from each of them.

Track 4. Givers - "Up Up Up": Whenever this band is summoned, it immediately pumps me up, and makes me smile. The first time I heard them, I was sold. I bought the whole album shortly after. Just an exploding band with huge sounds and epic songs. I also love how much fun they're having while playing their music. It's always nice to hear musicians that believe in what they're playing. And I cannot WAIT to see them live! (Just as a random not, I did see them live. IT WAS AMAZING. I even got the whole band to sign my ukulele!)

Track 5. James Blake - "I Never Learnt To Share":  A strange and challenging artist to listen to, this song also being one of the most challenging on this record. A lot of people compare him to artists in the dub-step genre, another popular music scene emerging this year. What he thought of that, along with his opinion on dub-step you can read here. (Read this next section after listening to some of the song first.) This certain track I was curious about the meaning behind it. After some research I actually discovered that he was actually an only child, which he always resented. Just thought that was an interesting note to share. This guy's been getting a lot of attention this year, and I can't wait to hear more from him.

Track 6. Alabama Shakes - "Hold On": I love this band. Her voice is just outstanding. Not even that word describes it. It's flawless. Her voice is like Billie Holiday-meets-Janis Joplin. I really could go on more about her voice, but I won't. They are very new to the scene, but I can tell you now: these guys are going to be huge. They were picked as Paste Magazine's New Band Of The Year, and also one of All Songs Considered's favorites of 2011.

 My Biggest Surprises

Track 7. James Blake & Bon Iver - "Fall Creek Boys Choir": When I first heard that James Blake & Bon Iver would be collaborating to make a single, I was (of course) surprised. I really didn't know what to expect. I think you probably have a bit of a background on each one. Both artists are very ambitious, and extremely talented people, but you wouldn't really think of putting the two together. When I first heard it, I was challenged. I can honestly say it was like nothing I've ever heard before. But after a few listens, I was in love. So I guess I challenge you to try and like it also.

Track 8. Hugh Laurie - "St. James Infirmary": This is the polar opposite of the last track. You will not have a hard time listening to this one. In fact I'm almost positive that you will instantly love it. I admit I was NOT expecting something as good as this from Dr. House. I did know for a while that he was a musician, but I definitely didn't see this coming. This album is awesome. It has some originals like "Let Them Talk","You Don't Know My Mind" and "Tipitina". But it also has some traditional songs like the one you're about to hear, "John Henry" and "Six Cold Feet". To sum everything up, this album is a lot of fun, easy to listen to, but also very musical and filled with talent.

My Top 3 Albums

Album #3: Peter Bjorn & John - Gimme Some - "Dig A Little Deeper":

Who knew that three Swedish guys could make music as awesome as this? This is one of the only records I got this year that my whole family likes. In fact, we were just singing along to it earlier today. I saw these guys about three months ago, and they were AMAZING. They played their music with energy and excitement, but they also kept their cool. There is not one song on this record that I don't love. I would say that the meaning of the whole album is just having fun, and living life. This record has a knack for putting a smile on my face. Hats off to these guys for this phenomenal album.

Album #2: Bright Eyes - The People's Key - "One For You, One For Me": 

I love it when artists take on huge subjects, and that's exactly what this album is. You can probably tell by the title, "The Peoples Key" that this album will revolve around humanity, and the meaning of life. This album brings up enormous questions, then either tackles them, or leaves them how they should be: unanswered. The album kicks off, and is constantly riddled throughout with advice and secrets regarding the meaning of life and lizard aliens by Denny Brewer.  (In order to understand the full artistic scope of this, you must listen to the entire album.) This song you're going to hear is the closing song and really just wraps it up by saying that in the end, we must love one another. There have been a few times when I've cried listening to this song. I really can't sum it up any other way besides saying that I love this song; it has changed me.

Album #1: (Drum roll please . . .) Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues - "The Shrine/An Argument":  

I've heard it said many times that the second album of a band is the hardest album ever. With the first album being 20 years (or more) in the making, it's hard to make something that will, again, please your fans who are expecting something you're not sure you can deliver. So, you can imagine the huge pressure for this band, their first album getting tons of attention all over the place. Well, I can say with confidence that this album blows the last one right to pieces. It takes on similar themes as The People's Key but with a much more personal feeling. The album deals with lead singer Robin Pecknold's struggle to find meaning in this huge world, filled with people. His lyrics are soaked with personal conflict and nihilism. In the first track "Montezuma" he croons, "So now I am older, than my mother and father, when they had their daughter, now what does that say about me?" This track you will hear is the biggest song on the record, about him and a past complicated relationship. Also, to this date this music video is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. I would say to best express the meaning of this record is this: the meaning of life is to serve something bigger than you.

On a final note, I want to take the time to say that I am not saying that this music here is "the best" or even that "you should like this music". (At least I hope I'm not communicating that.) These are just my favorites, as indicated in the title. Also, I don't consider myself a music critic in any sense, in fact I extremely dislike music critics. To me, music is all in the eye of the beholder. If the artist thinks that what they are offering is the best they can give, I respect that, whether I like it or not. I don't believe that some guy sitting in his office has a right to have universal rule over whether or not you should like a band, album, or song. I'm just a music junkie, that's all. If you don't like the music on here, that's okay with me. I just hope you find something you enjoy as much as I enjoy these.


P.S. In the new year, I'm going to be making some changes, bloggely speaking. I'm still trying to get a hold of this "music blogger" thing. So stick with me here, I'm really excited for what's to come next year!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mixtape #8: Christmastime Is Here

This week I have some good news: This mixtape you can actually download and listen to yourself! You don't have to watch old YouTube videos . . . the music's right there!

Here's the link: you're welcome!

P.S. I'm taking a little break over the holidays, but brace yourself! For my first mixtape of the new year, I'm going to bombard you with "My Favorite Music Of 2011".

Peace And Happy Holidays,