[MP3] THE TING TINGS want you to throw your party HANDS in the air

i see you lookin up, you want to think about it

♫ The Ting Tings – Hands

I distictly remember my friend Sam asking me: “What do you think about The Ting Tings?” It was the summer of ’08 and he was splayed out in in a hospital bed after tearing his knee to shit. Before I was even able to connect the mental dots to “Great DJ,” the only song of theirs I knew at the time, Sam answered his own question: “I’ve decided I’m not into them.” We talked about it for another minute or so before evolving topics. The exchange always comes to mind when I think about the band because it wasn’t long after that I was giving their album a spin and making a similar decision: “I don’t think I like this much.” But that’s the funny thing about The Ting Tings, their popular opinion is made up of much more decision than reaction, people have to kind of think about whether this kind of spazzy club pop is OK with them. For a band that seems to cause so much thinking, they make music that should really require none. Anyway, after the sever over-exposure of tracks like “That’s Not My Name” and “Shut Up And Let Me Go,” I find it hard to imagine that anyone listens to them on the regular but that may be about to change. “Hands” is their new jam and although it’s still signature Ting, it’s also their most enjoyable and least grating track to date. A bouncy party groove for getting loose on the dance floor! Stop thinking, stop hating and get dancing!

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[MP3] SERF PARTY USA is a DAMN good name for a funky synth-rap crew doing their THANG

no they can’t believe how we can make cash money singing about our fantasy

♫ Surf Party USA – Damn Thang

Any band naming themselves after a 30 Rock line is gonna get my attention and so thank goodness they didn’t tarnish their namesake and have dropped a jam of a track here! Coming from California I never would have guessed that these Idaho inlanders would get their indentured farm party on so hard! You’ve got bouncy synth lines, auto tuned crooning, white-dude rapping, and enough glitchy goodness to keep things funky! The few other Serf Party USA jams I’ve heard are a bit rough around the edges but with only 28 listens on Last.fm these guys are about as fresh as it gets and clearly have time to tighten up their shit between boozy nights in the cornfields. Bump it!

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[MP3] DAM FUNK has a tip for visiting the HOOD so you can PASS through INTACT

cause you never know when you gonna need to go back

♫ Dam-Funk – Hood Pass Intact (feat, MC Eiht)

Dam Funk’s largely instrumental (and large in size) double album, Toeachizown, garnered a ton of praise last year but the little I heard didn’t quire grab me and I never really tackled it. Well, now that Dam-Funk has thrown some vocals on a few of those tracks for his new EP my ears are perking right up. “Hood Pass Intact”‘s premise is about as awesome as it’s throwback 80s funk mega-handclap beat. Dam Funk’s high pitched soul provides a nice contrast to MC Eiht’s gravely flow. If this jam doesn’t make you want to cut the top off your car and put mega hydraulics in then you are lost, my friend. California love, baby. It’s nice to see a guy bringing back a genre and doing it with zero irony. (No surprise that Dam is on Stones Throw, the same label as Mayer Hawthorne)

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[MP3] GROUPLOVE is to awesome like crayons are to COLOURS

so i am a man up in the air and i float around this town

♫ Grouplove – Colours

Did you hear the one about the 5 people from LA, NYC, and London who all met and formed a band on the island of Crete and then stayed in touch before deciding to record an EP in LA? No, you haven’t heard it before, because shit like that does’t happen. Well, it doesn’t unless you are in Grouplove and then that is the exact story of how you got to the point where I am now listening to your single and being blown away. Backstory aside, this jam is a hugely impressive blend of all the things I love! Huge anthemic vocals! Soaring harmonies! Shredding guitars! Foot stomping beat! And most of all, a feeling that I am listening to something real and alive! Emotion and feeling are bursting through the seams of this track! Grouplove’s debut 5 track EP is out now and while I wait for the band to read this post and hook me up with a copy so it can become my favorite EP of the year I suggest you get a head start and pick it up! After all, NME named these guys #10 on the list of best new 2010 bands! They should probably have been higher.

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[MP3] CLOUD CULT recommend that TODAY WE GIVE OURSELVES a moment to rock TO THE epicness of this FIRE jam

i promise i’m a well intentioned explosion

♫ Cloud Cult – Today We Give Ourselves to the Fire

Some of you might know Cloud Cult from them being a band for forever and Light Chasers being their 8th record but I’m being introduced through this anthemic and life-affirming rock jam. A band with that much of a back catalog is waaaay too intimidating for me so I can promise you now that I won’t be giving myself to that fire, if you know what I mean. I have no problem just cranking this up, tying my sweater to my head, and conquering the shit of this couch! I can’t help getting pumped with those grinding guitars and huge harmonies!

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[MP3] BARBARA say UNICORNICA is a place on the MOON, so don’t TRIP

you been travelling all alone down that road and all i have is a photo

♫ Barbara – Unicornica (demo)

What the only thing better than stumbling across some nice new jams? Finding out that the people behind that sweetness are also behind one of your favorite music blogs! First there was the out-of-left-field but Kid Cudi approved cover of “Pursuit of Happiness” that was instantly refreshing. Then I got “Unicornica”  in my inbox and instantly fell for it (in demo form, no less!). Such a delicate little beat coupled with those intimate vocals make for some great listening. So after all that “Barbara-ness” I finally read this Audiomuffin post on how how their own Bootsy and Frank are a core part of the band! Hell yeah! So “Unicornica” is still in the oven (hee hee) awaiting a full LP release but their Robopopironica EP is out now and features the fantastic “Moon Trip.”

♫ Barbara – Moon Trip

Fragile and spacey. Great for winding down before some much needed sleep. I love when Booty’s vocals come in. The shift from husky to sweetness is perfect. It’s so nice to hear some music bloggers making music of their own. Sure make me feel humble. So if you are digging this greatness then support these guys!

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[MP3] BATHS are not just for AMINALS

rawr! raah!

♫ Baths – Aminals

Baths is the moniker of 21 year old Los Angeleno Will Wiesenfeld whose debut album, Cerulean, is out now and garnering much acclaim. Some of the other tracks I’ve heard haven’t blown me away but “Animals” here instantly jumped out at me. Both delicate and pounding at the same time, its mostly instrumental beat skips and tweaks itself around until it’s some kind of hyperactive mess that is just waiting to burst. If you aren’t feeling this jam then you just need to turn up the volume, turn down the lights, and try again. Although the rest of the album hasn’t grown on me yet I can definitely say that headphones help. Right now I am loving how Baths takes these short vocal samples and streaches and weaves them into the rhythm until they are barely recognizable. “Maximalist” is another recommended jam

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[MP3] K.FLAY has at least 2 jams that are far from WEAK

watched you fall apart so you’d think i learned my lesson

♫ K. Flay – 2 Weak

Yes, that’s a sample of Grizzly Bear’s “Two Weeks” with some chick spitting rhymes and flow all over it. Well, that chick is the cute as a button K.Flay who has taken her Stanford-educated and basketball-toned ass and been busting it on a rap career. Buying a pony is definitely easier but dropping tracks like this are soooo much more rewarding for the rest of us. I am really feeling her delivery. Big things in small packages, yo! Oh, shit. I’m on her MySpace now and her track “5AM” came on and it’s so fresh! This jam might even be better than “2 Weak!” So grimy and funky. Now I don’t know! Questioning everything! But still rocking!

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