Midnight Clear

Hi everyone, and happy holidays! Long time followers of mine will remember that every year I arrange a MegaPlaylist of totally listenable Christmas music. I started this tradition when I began working retail, and needed to fight back against the overwhelming onslaught of terrible, terrible holiday tunes.

This is my 14th annual mix, very available on Spotify, entitled “Midnight Clear”.

Imagine it like a music festival, if it makes you feel better.

Imagine it like a music festival, if it makes you feel better.

The only tracks missing from the Spotify version from my own personal version are several fantastic renditions by Sleeping at Last, which you can find for free here: http://noisetrade.com/sleepingatlast/christmas-collection-2015

 

Oh, and the Spotify playlist is also free, and here:

Altered States

by Jason.

Welcome to Altered States. A weekly playlist to help your weekend’s adventure get to the right destination. Featuring music left of center and slightly askew; ranging from post psychedelia, psybient, jam, ambient, hip hop, and world music. Whatever I’m listening to during the week that I feel might help you through life’s journey.

This week’s playlist is coming out a bit early because of the extended weekend. This might be the most ‘altered’ of the Altered States playlists, focusing mainly on dark jazz themes and rich horn arrangements.

We start our journey off with Miles Davis’ “Chez Le Photographe Du Motel”  from the Lous Malle film Ascenseur pour l’échafaud.  A solid base from which we deviate immediately into the unknown jazz cosmos with Tuxedomoon’s Kubrick. This soundtrack is heavy on both the horns and the weird. Be sure to stick it out till the end. There are many tricks, turns, and surprises along the way.

Drop your bean, turn the lights low and the music up. Enjoy the ride.

 

The running Altered States playlist. Every week the Altered States play list from the previous week is added here. Follow this one on Spotify and you’ll have a great playlist that’s continuously updated:

 

For your viewing pleasure: 

3:1 The National / Thanksgiving

by Valerie

Welcome to the second installment of 3:1. Remember last week when I said the only rule was the ratio of covers to originals? Well, this week we’ll be looking at 3 covers and 1 original again, only focusing on a band instead of a song.

Over the weekend, I was reminded that one of my favorite bands, The National, did a very silly (yet hauntingly serious) cover of “Thanksgiving Song” from the TV Show Bob’s Burgers several years ago. What I didn’t know was that a year later, they collaborated with the show and did an original song for Thanksgiving called “Sailors in Your Mouth.” Too funny. So ridiculous.

Better late than never, right?

Here’s the cover (accompanied by random photos of the band… it was the only one on YouTube without weird photos of dead turkeys. You’re welcome.):

And here’s the original song they wrote for an episode of the show:

This got me thinking about an awesome cover I’d heard recently of The National‘s song “Pink Rabbits” from the 2013 album Trouble Will Find Me. It’s by the band Strand of Oaks and while it’s not about Thanksgiving, your ears may thank you:

I also remembered a much less silly and much more beautiful cover The National recorded as a b-side for I Need My Girl, “Learning” by Perfume Genius. I adore it.

I’ve been told The National later wrote a Christmas song for Bob’s Burgers (How did all of this get past me?!), but that’s going to have to wait to be heard until after Thanksgiving is over. I’m a one-holiday-at-a-time kind of person.

Have a great Thanksgiving, readers & listeners! I hope it’s filled with great food and even better company, with opportunity to reflect on what matters most. I bet you’ll be looking at your gravy boat differently. I know I will.

Five for Friday: Trap

On a recent installment of the wonderful Altered States feature of Static and Distortion, Koop provide a plethora of psychedelic/goorvy/trippy hip hop music (FYI Koop, where was MF DOOM?!?) for you to enjoy.  But he also said in our recent podcast “Fuck Trap music” (paraphrasing).  I’d have to disagree.

For those that don’t know Trap music, it’s a style of rap born out of the south in the early 90’s.  The signature sound was heavy 808’s, high hats, dark/ominous strings and synths to lay ground for lyrical content focusing on drug dealing, poverty, gang violence, and struggles.  In the south, the “Trap” is both figurative and literal: It was dead end streets, closed alley ways, or locations with little access where drug deals and all around shenanigans would go down, keeping buyers and dealers trapped. But it was also reflective of the people in these scenarios, trapped to repeat the same behavior and transgressions for whatever their personal reason may be.

The problem comes, as it always does, when styles and sounds are appropriated by other genres for use.  Most notably Electronic music, biting the heavy 808’s and rhythm’s associated with Trap production.  Artists like Flosstradamus, TNGHT, , Hudson Mohawke, and R.L. Grime are now being considered Trap DJ’s.  Even Katy Perry is in on it with her song Dark Horse.  When I hear Koop say “Fuck Trap music” I like to think he may be thinking of these artists and the ubiquity of the term “Trap” in modern music.  In actuality you can go back and listen to true trap rappers who spin their own tales, A La Nas with Illmatic or Tupac with All Eyez on me.

The West cost had gangster rap, East coast had that New York sound and flow.  Midwest had a mini backpack movement, and now has Drill music.  ALl of these styles were accepted for the individual sounds and content they brought to the table.  Trap has it’s own unique story, rich with a past of artists able to tell the story of their neighborhoods and those still there….Trapped.

Young Jeezy-Trap or Die

Gucci Mane- Trap House

Waka Flocka Flame-Hard in the Paint

Ghetto Mafia-For the good times (Straight from The Dec)

T.I.-Dope Boyz

Season 3, Episode 21: Outkast

Hey everyone!  This week John, Koop, Robert, and returning OG Static Cast host Chris get together and talk about Southern Hip Hop pioneers Outkast.  We discuss Jimmy Iovine’s Sexism, David Bowie’s new song, the fall of festival’s, we give another shout out to the awesome band King Catcher, and we attempt to discuss Jay Syd but he make’s his video private and subsequently we forget about him.

“How ’bout I shit on whatever indie band you love that nobodies ever heard of!?!”

ALTERED STATES

By Jason.

Welcome to Altered States. A weekly playlist to help your weekend’s adventure get to the right destination. Featuring music left of center and slightly askew; ranging from post psychedelia, psybient, jam, ambient, hip hop, and world music. Whatever I’m listening to during the week that I feel might help you through life’s journey.

In keeping with the Static theme this week, Altered States is focusing the playlist towards Hip Hop. I believe this list will have you questioning why anybody would ever listen to Trap music when these rhymes and beats are still a thing. It’s 90’s heavy, because well… I’m 90’s heavy.

Enjoy the ride:

Here is the main list. Every week the Altered States play list from the previous week is added here. Follow this one on Spotify and you’ll have a great playlist that’s continuously updated: Altered States (past playlists)

 

And now for your viewing pleasure:

 

 

Hip Hop Wednesday: November 18, 2015

calBy John

This week on Hip Hop Wednesday, we explore the brilliance and wisdom of the great Oddisee.

This track comes from Amir Mohamed’s 2013 album “Tangible Dream.”

Check these lyrics:

“I never asked to be born, and death’s no question
The sun’s still shining off the same old lessons
Then why does life feel like an educated guess and
My thoughts are like meals I’m a sucker for the seconds
Impressions got a lot of us stressing,
but how we are perceived is more about a reflection”

There is so much packed into those lines I can’t even unpack them all. Life and death, broken down so simply and profoundly.

“I’m trying to get mine in this life time
The after life is much further in pipeline
I’m in inclined to believe that but truth is,
That for death, any moment is the right time
So I live like everyday is my last
But I plan for tomorrow as if I will never pass”

“Dream like you’ll live forever. Live like you’ll die tomorrow.” He could have just fallen back on that easy quotation, but he brought so much more life to the concept.

Here’s the track. Go buy every Oddisee album. Now.

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Artist: Oddisee
Song: Own Appeal
Album: Tangible Dream
Year: 2013
Label: Mello Music Group

3:1 : Lovesong

By Valerie

Welcome to 3:1.

After spending the month of October sharing and critiquing each other’s selection of cover songs and realizing there are so many conversation-worthy covers, we decided to keep the discussion going and introduce 3:1 – a weekly installment on the blog where I’ll share a ratio of 3:1 of covers to originals. Some weeks will feature 3 covers and an original, some will feature 3 originals and cover. Some weeks may feature the same artist, some the same song, and some weeks may be a variety with a theme. The only rule is the 3:1 ratio.

Unlike our October series, these covers may or may not be better than the original. In fact, several of the songs I’ll be sharing in the first few weeks were on my list of songs that didn’t quite make the cut in October because while they were great, the original was just too darn good. 

To kick things off, let’s look at The Cure‘s “Lovesong” from the 1989 album Disintegration.

3 Covers:

Adele from 21, 2011.

 

Kevin Devine from Devinyl Splits No. 3: Tigers Jaw x Kevin Devine, 2015.

 

The Brains from The Cover Up- EP, 2014.

The Original:

 

I think these covers each stand out in different ways and are all quite good, but none quite top the original in my mind. Let us know what you think!

When available, I’ll be adding the covers featured each week to my 3:1 playlist on Spotify:

 

Season 3, Episode 20: The Covers list

In this episode Jason, John, Robert, and special guest Val (and an absentee Chenel) sit down to talk about the covers project the Static group did through out the month of October.  We talk about how Miley Cyrus could be great, why New Found Glory isn’t great, warring coves of “Hey Ya!”, what type of music is “Shen Music”, and the Beatles/Earth, Wind, and Fire debate.  We also talk about a new band out of England, King Catcher. Hope you enjoy.

PS: This Episode is dedicated solely to Koop.  I hope you finally enjoy that McDonald’s.

Five for Friday aka Welcome Back!

Hey.  It’s been a while hasn’t it?  You’re looking good.  Me?  Oh, just the same ol’: Work, family, Fallout 4.  Five for Friday?  Yeah, it’s kinda been on the back burner.  You liked that feature?  I’m glad to hear that!  I’ve been toying with bringing it back.  You know what, let’s do it!  We’ll ease on in if that’s okay.  Just some songs for you to check out.

Juan Jose Mosalini-Bordoneo y 900

Kamasi Washington-Change of the Guard

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds-Into My Arms

Missy Elliot ft Pharrell-WTF (Where they from)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KO_3Qgib6RQ

Juelz Santana- Dipset (Santana’s Town)