CROOKERS collaborate with everyone except the count of TRANSILVANIA

it’s a dark and lonely beautiful place i’m in

♫ Crookers – Transilvania (feat. Steed Lord)

Crookers are best know for their chart-devouring remix of Kid Cudi’s “Day N Nite” and have spent the past year trying to get out from under their own shadow. Track after track has drifted through my speakers and still nothing to write home about. Until now. “Transilvania” is definitely not their best work but it is the first jam from their upcoming Tons Of Friends LP that has got me pumped for it. Steed Lord joins the epic cast of collaborators, lending a weirdo vocal track that perfectly complements the foreboding beat-fest that is best enjoyed towards the later end of a substance-filled evening. In other news, Miike Snow collaborated on Crookers’ debut and I’ve found the track and included it below. Crookers’ themselves tell the story of the track’s inception but fellow Miike fans will find it a curious read, especially when you consider that Miike Snow’s version includes no credit to Crookers in the liner notes. Regular readers can guess which version I prefer.

♫ Crookers – Remedy (Feat. Miike Snow)

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PLAN B is down to STAY in the club, just not TOO LONG lest there be an incident

i go through a door and suddenly i find myself somewhere

♫ Plan B – Stay Too Long

That suave looking fella to our right is Ben drew, a British rapper who goes by Plan B and who has been dropping his lyrical styling on the UK for years now. “Stay Too Long” looks to be his attempt at cracking his audience open a bit and as far as I’m concerned it’s working. This is exactly the the kind of hyped-up gospel funk that get’s my ass moving on a Saturday night. The first few listens through I assumed that the title had something to do with and overdue breakup but closer listening (and this illustrative video) have led me to the conclusion that the themes covered have much more to do with bar brawls and drunk bros than any affairs of the heart. This guy gets more intriguing by the minute.

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LOCAL NATIVES convert energy from the SUN into great music to deliver into our HANDS

take into account that it’s all about to change

♫ Local Natives – Sun Hands

These dudes from L.A. just won’t stop impressing me. Looking back on it now I am kicking myself for turning down an invitation to see them play back in August. Somehow I just didn’t “get” the early tracks “Airplanes” and “World News” (of which the former has turned into one of my favorites). Eventually I heard “Camera Talk.” Then I heard “Sun Hands.” Then I started seeing all their fantastic artwork (Their MySpace is a good start). And then the other day I finally got their album, Gorilla Manor. It’s as if they knowingly named the opening track “Wide Eyes” as a prediction of my reaction. Gorilla Manor is full of those pleasant surprises but none so striking as in the middle of “Sun Hands” when everything goes off the rails in the best way possible. Local natives are growing on me exponentially with each listen but it’s that unexpected eclecticism that I worry will keep away listeners who prefer to neatly label their music. A lot of people (myself included) often need an album to have that one standout track to hook you in and to mutually appreciate when it comes on in a bar/club. The frustrating beauty of Gorilla Manor is that every track on the album can be that track and sometimes they even sound like they were made by different bands. How can Local Natives nail it so hard in so many different ways? My recent favorite is the lush “Who Knows Who Cares,” what is yours? I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a big range of answers.

♫ Local Natives – Who Knows Who Cares

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Remix Roundup Vol. 16 – 2.5.10

Another collection of recent remixes for your listening pleasure. Some real gems in a here and a few others that are more “interesting” than “awesome.” Read on. Rock om. And if you want more jams by any of these artists use the ‘tags’ links at the bottom of the post!

♫ Vampire Weekend – Cousinz (Toy Selectah Mex-More Remix) / The challenge of the evening is going to have more fun than this remix. It’s as if the song itself is grinning from ear to ear. And jumping up and down.

♫ Boy 8-Bit – Baltic Pine (Run Hide Survive Remix) / Remixing an instrumental track is tricky territory. Without a well known vocal track to lean on how do you make it your own while still maintaining the original’s integrity and awesomeness? Definitely tricky, but good to know it’s not impossible.

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SHE & HIM are IN THE business of laying SUN-infused gems on us

we all feel ashamed sometimes every day

♫ She & Him – In the Sun

Zooey Deschanel and M Ward’s first album as She & Him went criminally under-listened by me and the recent leak new track “In The Sun” is a delightful remind not to let that happen the second time around. Logic would dictate that general goodwill towards these two would have waned considering Zooey’s rising fame and recent marriage to Mr. Gibbard but somehow they remain completely endearing and legitimate. M. Ward’s talent has never been disputed but Zooey continues to impress with both her acting chops and singing skillz. “In The Sun” is the kind of song you want to sing out loud to and in the absence of a lover to sing to I recommend a dog. He/she is probably just as bummed as me that it’s so cold outside and could use a little sweet serenading.

♫ She & Him – Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?

For the uninitiated here is my favorite jam from She & Him’s first album, Volume One, and here is it’s fantastically irreverent video. The comfortingly titled Volume Two is out March 23rd.

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ALOHA use this MOONLESS night to go on a sonic MARCH

everyone’s eyes, they are ready for the light

♫ Aloha – Moonless March

Aloha have apparently been around for years and have a slew of albums under their belt but all that is news to me. All I know is that Stereogum featured “Moonless March” a while back and it’s frenetic energy, breakneck guitar work, and rollicking piano have me hooked. Not nearly as gloomy as the album cover suggests, this jam is more suited for a high speed car chase in a “alternative” cartoon. I can definitely imagine a crazed dude/dog/bank-robber speeding away from inept police as he careens his comically shaped car around animated street corners. The only other jam I have heard from these guys is less spastic, but no less appealing so I’m curious to see how the forthcoming Home Acres LP will sound.

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CARIBOU could turn wintery ODESSA into a MELODY filled DAY of fun

tell me what i have to show for all of my tears

♫ Caribou – Odessa

Caribou is the solo moniker of Ontario, Canada’s Daniel Snaith who recently unleashed “Odessa” on the world as a taste of his forthcoming LP, Swim. The track can barely contain itself and it screeches and stomps through 5 pure minutes of dance-in-the-dark magic. Is that a triangle making that epic clanging noise? “Melody Day” (below) is from Caribou’s last album, “Andorra,” and while still a jam, is quite different from “Odessa.” Andorra is a bit too mellowed-out hippy-dippy for my tastes but if Odessa is an indicator or Caribou’s new direction then I am stoked. I wonder what long-time Caribou fans think of this new sound?

♫ Caribou – Melody Day

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AIRSHIP remind you KIDS that ALGEBRA is not only an important subject, but a great song

when you were so young what did you think about?

♫ Airship – Kids

(Mp3s taken down at label’s request. Stream “Kids” below)

Uh-oh. We’ve got a trifecta on our hands. Airship are sporting a great name, impeccable artwork, and infectious pop rippers. “Kids” is the latest track from these Manchester lads and can be found on a mini-compilation about their fair city. No word on weather it will also be included on their forthcoming debut LP but more of their jams are on their 2008 EP Spirit Of The Beehive.  “Algebra” is the noticeable standout from that 4 song collection and it’s churning guitar guitars and pulsing bass are impossible to resist. The EP also showcases the band’s less overt stylings with a pair of mellower slow-burners that round out their sound very nicely. These guys are definitely one massive helium filled deathtrap that I have no problem’s getting on board. (Thanks IGIF!)

♫ Airship – Algebra
AIRSHIP ‘Kids’ by Love & Disaster

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