(Funk Never Sounded so Fresh)

Toro Y Moi, a.k.a. Chaz Bundwick, has shared a new, digital “tour only” track called “Campo.” It’s laid back and soulful like most of Bundwick’s previous material. The track will be available at his shows this fall and, luckily, he will be performing in Seattle at Showbox at The Market on November 12. [Stereogum]

The trippy feel good nature of this track will be sure to inject some brevity for our collective hump day tomorrow.

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I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art!

  • A Brief History of John Baldessari

    The epic life of a world-class artist, jammed into six minutes.

    Narrated by Tom Waits.

    Commissioned by LACMA for their first annual “Art + Film Gala” honoring John Baldessari and Clint Eastwood.

Don’t Call It a Comeback!

After meandering in obscurity for 40 years Sixto Rodriguez has spent the past 20 making up for it. Sounding like the Bob Dylan of Motown, Rodriguez sets his innate ability with words and killer melodies to a wonderful backdrop of horns and sweetened instrumentals.

In retrospect, it is pretty obvious how his marketing fell flat… The name Rodriguez didn’t fit into the pop music spectrum the way his music natural did and his publicity photos from the 60’s were a little too dubious. The mystique did translate in Cape Town, South Africa where he was held at the same level as Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel and sold over a half million albums.

The subsequent film has done a wonderful job at re-introducing the street poet to the American masses. This clip serves as an awesome music video for his song “Crucify Your Mind”

If you haven’t yet seen the film Searching for Sugarman, do your self a favor and catch his amazing story. As for the question about his unpaid royalties; a lawyer has been retained and they are auditing the records.

London Based duo Red Eye has a distinctly jazz infused vibe that picks up where Casandra Wilson’s New Moon Daughter left off. Unlike the majority of today’s popular music, Red Eye tackles extremely difficult subject matter. “Relationships Look Closer in the Rear View Mirror” is a harrowing look at domestic abuse who’s melody and arrangement is both haunting and enchanting.

MC Yogi’s latest release Pilgrimage was honed over years of yoga study and playing festival stages large and small. Ever improving upon his powerhouse mix of hip-hop and yoga lore, Yogi describes his latest release as “a sonic trip, a journey toward the Self, toward what the yoga masters call the Supreme Soul.”

2008 shoestring-budget debut, Elephant Power, connected with both hip hop fans and new age seekers and still floats atop the world music chart on iTunes. His debut albums extraordinary success brought invitations to play in dance clubs and yoga festivals all over the world.

MC Yogi has definitely refined his sound here. It’s much less a hipster play on Hinduism (Ganesh is Fresh) and much more of a cohesive and well put together mash up of beats and conscious lyrics (Breath Control).

Oprah was the first major press outlet to break this compelling story about a garbage picker, a music teacher and a group of children from a Paraguayan slum who play instruments made entirely of garbage. The big payoff here is…. the instruments sound amazing and the kids playing them are extraordinarily happy to have such wonderful innovations. By creating instruments out of recycled materials, the students bring to life one of the world’s most unlikely orchestras… “The Recycled Orchestra”

With the release of their unnervingly named new album, Vampire Weekend are back in great form with great record sales to boot. In this recreation of the last supper, the band parties over the jangling electric blues while their hipster friends play with silly string and spray paint. And umm… are they smoking weed out of a saxophone? yes. The real kicker for this track is not the video I have posted but a teaser XL released featuring a Saab burning up on the banks of the Hudson. The clip pissed off Saab lovers everywhere when it was discovered that the charred vehicles in question were purchased under false pretenses from their loving owners.

Young songstress Alison May has a truly original voice and her remarkable debut album Earnest Keep delivers a blue hued, powerful string of 12 wide eyed folk songs. There are lovely organ and electric guitar embellishments but it is over all a stripped down effort, relying on little more then Alison’s one of a kind voice and emotive sensibility. My two personal favorites are the cutting “Michael’s Song” which culminates in the deeply effective refrain “prepare yourself… everyone is going to change” and “Ellis” which allows for May to break into a ghostly falsetto when she reaches the climax of the story – which seems to be about immigration into Ellis Island, NY.

This is a stellar debut carried by a great voice, a lot of wonderfully recorded instrumentation and rich, pensive lyrics that reflect a depth far beyond her years.

Based on the astrological belief that the world would soon be entering the “Age of Aquarius”, an age of love, light, and humanity, unlike the current “Age of Pisces”, pioneering funkers 5th Dimension set out to write a universal pop song in the greatest sense. The exact circumstances for the change are “When the moon is in the seventh house, and Jupiter aligns with Mars.”

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This change was presumed to occur at the end of the 20th century; however, major astrologers differ extremely widely as to when. Their proposed dates range from 2062 to 2680. I feel like it has just begun… so let the sun shine in!

(FOXYGEN)

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I will begin this quote with a direct quote from LA Mag – “if Wes Anderson started a band devoted to covering obscure, decades old French pop songs en Anglais seulement, this is what it would sound like.” Not only does that ring true of the sound but also the visual esthetic of this video which reeks of Anderson’s vibrant Kubrickian touch.

Formed in 2005 by two Westlake Village high school kids, Foxygen has risen within an earshot of mass appeal in a very short amount of time. Thier new album, We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic, came out January 22 on Jagjaguwar and after The Winter Issue of Under The Radar (who’s artists gushed over the lads and placed them in several top album lists) it is fair to say Foxygen has earned their buzz.

This is an all around great clip that underscores the mimed performance of Sam France, who seems to naturally revel in the campiness of it all.