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ARMS avoid the HEAT & when HOT jump in the WATER

blood on your face, you were born for the chase, wherever we go

♫ ARMS – Heat & Hot Water

Back when ARMS first grabbed my ear it was the side project of the guitarist for Brooklyn’s Harlem Shakes, Todd Goldstein. Now that those TBE faves have broken up, Todd has fleshed out his solo project and followed up 2008’s Kids Aflame LP with a free EP! As if that beautiful album art wasn’t enough, “Heat & Hot Water” immediately stands out with it’s vibrating bass, tinkling drums, and Todd’s fantastically tender vocal stylings. This guy’s voice is just great. The ARMS EP is overall mellower than Kids Aflame but still a good (and free!) starting point for new fans. “Shitty Little Disco” below will give you a taste of what ARMS can do when they get pumping. “Whirring” is also an essential track and along with “Kids Aflame” should help you decide if you want to go on living without ARMS.

♫ ARMS – Shitty Little Disco

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The 20.9 Best Songs of 2009… So Far / Jan.-June

Art by Odili Donald Odita

Art by Odili Donald Odita

How freaking crazy is it that 2009 is already halfway over? What a crazy year so far, in so many ways, the least of which is all of the fantastic, surprising, and sometimes disappointing music that has come our way. TBE will be 5 months old in a week and we have been chronicling most of the year’s jams. Here are my top 20.9. I guarantee you wont agree with all of them but doesn’t that just make our friendship that much more deep and meaningful? Just so we are clear how I arrived at this particular order, I’ve selected my favorites from my top listens each month and then ordered them purely by total play count. I know that’s confusing but whatever, the list is after the jump.

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Harlem Shakes want this weekend to be about Strictly Game

technicolorhealth

make a little money, take a lot of shit, feel real bad, then get over it

Harlem Shakes – Strictly Game

With its weirdo-distortion, trotting drums, and the cruising “Ooohs,” the opening of “Strictly Game” is hard to pin down. The drum machine beat that kicks in doesn’t help. Luckily the confusion doesn’t last long as all but the drums cut out with the incoming vocals. Now we’ve got a jam. It almost feels like there should be hand-claps. I recommend toe-taps as a worthy substitute. Brooklyn’s Harlem Shakes (named after the dance move) released their Burning Birthday’s EP in 2007 and generated a lot of buzz with their energetic/spastic live shows. 2009 sees the release of their first full LP, Technicolor Health, and it more than lives up. I never really fell for the EP but I have been playing this one for a week straight. If the major tuneage isn’t enough, get it cause they name-drop Poughkeepsie (holler!) on “Niagara Falls.” Oh, and the guitarist, Todd, is the fantastic one-man side project Arms. Get on that too. I know, it’s a lot. But it’s the weekend so it’s all good, yo. Here is one from the EP to comfort you.

Harlem Shakes – Red Right Hands

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