bacon & eggs playlist 1.26.11

Tori Amos – Silent All These Years
Terror Tractor – Resolution (local)
Dashboard Confessional – Again I Go Unnoticed
Klaxons – Echoes
The xx – Crystalized
Jimmy Eat World – Coffee and Cigarettes
Smashing Pumpkins – The Fellowship
Social Distortion – Machine Gun Blues
Atomic Tom – Take Me Out
Ellie Goulding – Sweet Disposition (Temper Trap cover)
The Walkmen – Stranded
The Bouncing Souls – Ole
Bon Iver – Flume
Pixies – Wave of Mutilation
Jessica Hernandez and the Delta
Antennas Up – Don’t Wait Up (local)
Avey Tare – 3 Umbrellas
Daft Punk – Derezzed
MGMT – Congratulations
OK Go – Get Over It
Hollerado – Juliette
Beastie Boys – Pass The Mic
Camera Obscura – If Looks Could Kill
Wiz Khalifa – Black and Yellow (Go Steelers!)
Air Traffic Controller – The One
G. Love – Greatest Hits

This your brain on Hogs, Meretron, DJ O.J. & Melissa (Woo, interns!)

bacon & eggs playlist 1.19.11

Smashing Pumpkins – 1979
Social Distortion – Machine Gun Blues (*new*)
Beastie Boys – Car Thief
Tori Amos – Playboy Mommy
Goldfrapp – We Radiate
Schaffer the Darklord – Arrival of the Fittest
MC Lars – Hop Topic Is Not Punk Rock
Helmet – In The Meantime
Alaska in Winter – Berlin
Bat for Lashes – Sleep Alone (909s in the darktimes remix)
Ultimate Fakebook – Inside Me, Inside You (local)
Matthew Sweet – Girlfriend
Green Day – Maria
The Urge – Too Much Stereo (requested)
Pearl Jam – Daughter
Ellie Goulding – Sweet Disposition
Camera Obscura – Swans
Daft Punk – Derezzed
Elliot Smith – Last Call
Band of Horses – Is There A Ghost
The Demon’s Claws – Last Time At The Pool
Flight of the Conchords – If You’re Into It

This is your brain on Hogs & Meretron

alaska in winter.

I don’t listen to a whole lot of electronic music but I know what I like and I like Alaska in Winter.

I discovered AIW as the soundtrack to an amazing Daewon Song skate video titled New Years Dae. Daewon’s video is awesome in its own right, but much more awesome as it included, and introduced me to, AIW.

Like NIN, AIW is mostly the work of one person, Brandon Bethancourt. You should give him a listen because I think you’ll enjoy the music of AIW as much as I do.

This is your brain on Hogs.

review: Clay Hughes and the What? – “The Wrong Side of Crazy” ep

I started listening to rap in about 1987, I believe. Someone got a hold of their brother’s copy of the Beastie Boys’ “Licensed To Ill” and it had the words “damn” and “hell” in it. At age eight, it was unbelievable to me. Of course, I started getting into all the rap and hip-hop that came before the Beasties – Run DMC, LL Cool J, etc.

So, from that point on, I was listening to rock music and hip-hop, which isn’t really that unusual for people my age. The culmination, for me at least of this dual rap/rock lifestyle was the amazing soundtrack to an otherwise forgettable movie, Judgement Night. It featured rock bands playing songs with rap acts, Ice-T and Slayer, for example. It was mind blowing and it was exactly what someone like me needed at the time and, it had never really been done before…except for that one time Aerosmith & Run DMC got together…but I digress.

About 1995-96 I stopped listening to hip-hop and rap, with rare exception. The explosion of gangsta rap had turned most rap releases into commercials for expensive cars and diamonds and the soul that originally drew me to rap was gone. Rap/rock combos like Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit had hit the scene and everything was so shiny and commercial and sad. There were some bright spots that stand out to me from around that time, though, but nothing like what I felt when I first discovered hip-hop.

Clay Hughes and the What? bring back the soul that has been missing, for me at least, in hip-hop inspired music. (Not all of hip-hop, mind you, just most of it.) The songs on “The Wrong Side of Crazy” combine hip-hop, country, blues and rock and, at times, also bring tinges of folk, soul and funk that bring a fullness to the music. You don’t feel like you’re going to be hungry again in an hour after listening to “Crazy”, even though it’s only a six song ep.

If I had to use one word to describe “Crazy” it would be groovy. As I was listening to the songs, I was constantly bobbing my head to the beat and tapping my feet. The music is good and it’s catchy and it makes you move. The genres seem to slightly change from song to song. For example, the title track, Wrong Side of Crazy, is most definitely more hip-hop than anything else, but you’ve still got the funk and country influences apparent in it.

The most important thing about this ep is Hughes’ voice. After all, it is his voice that is the connective tissue between songs. Hughes is able to match his voice’s groove to the groove of the music and the emotion he brings, when it’s needed, is at a perfect pitch. Even on the song Only Man, which is probably my least favorite track on the disk, Hughes is able to evoke an overriding creepy feeling, the slight shudder of impending doom…especially when he says “Oh no.”

My favorite song from the ep, Ex, starts out with echoy samples that sound straight out of an LL Cool J record circa 1987, then The What? hits us with a funky bass line, driving beat and some sweet guitar action, as well as Tony Beats’ awesome scratching, which, I feel, is something missing from most hip-hop these days. (Whatever happened to real DJs?) Regardless, this song reminds me of a simpler, better time in my life. If the ep makes you bob your head to the beat (and it does) this is the head bobbinest song on it.

Do yourself a favor, pick this ep up and go see Clay Hughes and the What? if you get the chance, you won’t regret it. “The Wrong Side of Crazy” comes out January 25, 2011 on Sharp Country Records and you can download a track here. The ep release party will be held at the Czar Bar in Kansas City, MO this coming Friday, January 21, 2011 at 8PM.

This is your brain on Hogs.

poster art.

My friends Adam and Bri collect screen printed posters from concerts their favorite bands put on. They have more disposable income than I do, so they have quite a few very nice, very large ones from bands lots of people like. Nirvana, for instance. They have many, many awesome posters. I’m not jealous…well, actually, I am. A little, anyway.

Because of them, I started collecting screen printed posters when I was able to find inexpensive prints from some of my favorite bands (Camera Obscura, being a big one.) I have looked for places that had several pieces I liked but there was never really a place that a) had lots of good art I liked, b) had it in stock and for sale directly from them and, c) had inexpensive pieces I could afford. Screen printed posters like this are a lot classier than the Xeroxed flyers I used to have all over my room back in my “punker” days.

Thank Bacon I follow Edgar Wright on Twitter, because he tweeted about an awesome graphic design studio who had done a poster for the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles. The New Beverly showed Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim in one night…sounds like a night at my house. I have posters for each of these films on the walls in my living room. (Or I will have once the frame I ordered for my Scott Pilgrim poster gets here.) So I was very interested in seeing the poster and I was not disappointed, it’s very cool.

Pretty bloody amazing. Dan Kuhlken and Nathan Goldman, the two graphic designers behind that amazing poster, have even better stuff on their website, DKNG I’m very disappointed that I didn’t find out about these two until after they had sold out of these Flight of the Conchords Lego-style posters because those are pretty sweet.

Regardless, you should probably follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook. If nothing else, at least follow their blog where you can check out sweet design-based posts like this one.

This is your brain on Hogs.