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} TBE Digest 5 – 2.10.10 [Major Lazer, Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, The Knife, & more!]

With this roundup I wanted to kick things off with a couple of great/interesting covers before I get into the dregs of what’s been popping up around the interwebs lately. Remember, these are just my humble opinions and an effort to keep you all abreast of the musical happenings that I don’t cover in their own hyperbole-filled post. If I make a poopy on one of your favorite bands just try not to flip out. We all float in different boats, or whatever.

♫ Major Lazer – Halo / Major Lazer and Elephant Man pay their own special kind of tribute to the Grammy winner with this cover. Not sure if they changed the lyrics or not, kinda hard to understand that dude.

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} TBE Digest 4 • 12/30/09 [Hot Chip, Ted Leo, Crookers, Wiley, R Kelly, Smashing Pumpkins, & more]

Because sometimes good songs have no place in a post of their own. But mostly, just because I am not down with a jam doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hear it too.

Get caught up with the last tidbits of 2009 after the jump.

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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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Remix Roundup /// Vol. 6

Less talk, more rock. You know what to do.

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Remix Roundup /// Vol. 4

Here at TBE I like to focus on new artists we are about to love and new tracks by artists we already love. BUT! Sometimes a remix comes along that just hast to be shared (danced to), and even more often a dozen remixes come along, hence the Remix Roundup. This week has some fantastic remixers (Designer Drugs, Don Diablo, Bloodshy & Avant, etc) remixing some TBE faves (La Roux, Basement Jaxx, Frankmusik, etc.). Crank the volume, clear the dance floor and download away!

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Remix Roundup ∞ Vol. 2

I know I said that these Remix Roundups wouldn’t be as big as last time. Oops.

Get your downloading finger ready…

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Hip-Hop Roundup // Chiddy Bang, Kid Cudi, Wale, & DOOM

As you know I am not a big “hip-hopper,” or whatevs, but there are definitely a few acts I have been keeping an intrigued eye on. My fluctuating interest, combined with that fact that the majority the hip-hop I encounter is headed for the radio, has led me to this kind of digest format. There are a gazillion other sites/stations/channels you can get more hip-hop from but I’ll probably stick to this unless something just floors me enough to give it its own post. Read on homie…

Chiddy Bang – Kids ft. MGMT

You may have caught last weeks post on these Philly college freshmen and their mind-blowing jams. Well a few days ago they dropped “Kids” and I was pretty let down. First of all, I already had an MGMT cover/remix roundup a few weeks ago, so nice timing guy! But seriously, although their “Kids” has grown on me since I started writing this post it doesn’t feel as thrilling as their first 5 tracks. Is this the blogosphere version of the sophomore slump? I’m I harshing what would otherwise be a fly mellow? Dunno anymore…

Kid Cudi – Switchin Laneskidcudimxtp

We all know Kid Cudi from my Heads Up ’09 mix and this past week has seen a glut of material from Kanye’s protege. Tidbits have been leaking here and there, including “Switchin Lanes” which I brushed off as a bore at first listen. Then last week Cudi dropped his free The ’09 Mix which gave me a whole new appreciation for the song which is now growing on me like mad.

Kid Cudi – She Came Along

The real jaw dropper is “She Came Along,” Cudi’s twanged out, sunset-on-a-horse, jam that gave me no pause in loving it. I really hope Cudi  goes further down this innovative boundary-pushing trail, and less snooze-fest of “Sky May Fall” (The ’09 Mix) or “The Prayer” (a KiD Named CuDi mix). Other standouts on The ’09 Mix are “Dat New New (VIKING remix)” and “Ask About Me remix” but since both are remixes I won’t pin their awesomeness on Cudi…yet. Seriously, go get The ’09 Mix, it’s not perfect but its solid. And free.

Kid Cudi – I Poke Her Face (feat. Kanye West, Common & A-Trak)

Kid Cudi samples Lady Gaga? Two TBE favs together on one track? Add two more hip-hop heavyweights and a DJ extraordinaire? Umm, yes please! Soooo, why is this song not very remarkable? With so many big names this should sound like a slam-jammer where they really threw down the gloves. Instead it sounds like it was handled with kid gloves….. oh, hahaha, I get it.

Wale – Chillin’ ft. Lady Gagawale

OK, Lady Gaga again, but you would never know it by her cringe-inducing M.I.A.-biting vocals. I love Lady Gaga whole thing she has going on so I am not sure why she would want to toy with her already tenuous legitimacy. Oh well, luckily Wale’s heat and the pure-pop banging production make this FUN in caps. I had heard about Wale (wah-lay) and his legendary mix-tapes for a while now but “Chillin'” was the first track I had actually connected to. With some web-sleuthing I came across this piece of 2007 flashback fantastic-ness.

Wale – W.A.L.E.D.A.N.C.E.

While it’s easy to ride on the production of everyone’s favorite Jackson sampling, Frenchie produced, track Wale really brings it with his lyrics. In 3 minutes and 49 seconds he lays down personality and style to spare and I’m on board. His apology to Mark Ronson for “offend(ing) your sister’s dear friend” is especially funny. Wale’s debut LP Attention: Defecit drops this summer and the hype kinda couldn’t be bigger. I wonder who is gonna come out on top, Wale or Cudi?

DOOM – Gazzillion Ear (Thom Yorke remix)bornlikethis

DOOM, a.k.a. MF Doom, is an ol’ school rapper I have been hearing about for years. His solo work, as well as collaborations with Danger Mouse, Ghostface Killah, and Gorillaz, have made him a familiar name of whom I know almost no music. Well leave it to a Thom Yorke remix to shove his music down the throat of every indie kid with T1 Internet. I can’t say I am in love with this track but the ominous, haunted-house layers Yorke adds sure make you stop and listen. DOOM’s latest LP (and the home of “Gazillion Ear”) Born Like This is out now and although it has got some good reviews I haven’t listened to it. I have a feeling like its for real hip-hop cats and that means not me.

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So how was that? Too “urban” for your palette? Want more rhymes and boasts? Are you feeling this Roundup style? Not that I am gonna change a damn thing based on your opinion but nonetheless, I am curious what it is…

[CvrUpYrRmx] The Fray on Kanye / Miike Snow vs. Vampire Weekend

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The Fray – Heartless (Kanye cover)

I guess you could say I enjoy The Fray just as much as the next guy. Never fell in love with ’em but Ted and I definitely belted out a few drunken renditions of “Over My Head (Cable Car)” back in day. Well the good times continue with their cover of Kanye’s “Heartless.” At first it seems like an odd choice but listen to how Isaac Slade’s voice beautifully emotes Kanye’s heartbreak while still maintaining the swagger and the groove. And all that without that damned vocoder. I had no idea how much I hated that vocoder until I heard this song sung without it. Well done dude.

MiikeSnowRabbit

Vampire Weekend – The Kids Dont Stand A Chance (Miike Snow remix)

Miike Snow is 3 dudes who:

1) Are not named Miike or Snow. I dont think.

2) Appear to be from Stockholm and/or NYC.

3) Have been remixed by TBE super-crush Crookers.

4) Have an antlered-rabbit logo that I don’t think they realize looks more like a vibrator-head-rabbit.

5) Remixed Vampire Weekend’s album closer into a quite pleasing blend of beats and bleeps and bloops. (The bloops are my fave.)