The Last Drop

Reviews and Clues on Music That Matters (to me)

Archive for August, 2007

Got Loaded: Recap of Get Loaded Festival 2007

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Ahhh….my first full concert-going experience in London. What better than an all day festival. I thought I had sworn them off after Jazzfest this year (since nothing else compares!), but the lineup was just too tempting. For a one stop indie music all day extravaganza, I was impressed by how orderly most of the experience was. Most of it. There was a brief moment when I thought about a potential stabbing at the Dizzee Rascal performance. But, luckily, these high schoolers were not in the mood for violence.

Highlights/Lowlights of the Get Loaded 2007 festival:

Outstanding DJ ability – DJ Semtex. Sometimes you only need one arm to break it down on the ones and twos. He’s building some buzz from hip hop heavy hitters (Jay Z, Kanye, 50, Snoop) and deservedly so. Played a lot of fun American hits and mixed them well with the UK set. All around pleasure to watch and listen to.

Least response from the crowd – Peter, Bjorn, and John. Yep, “Young Folks” never made it across the Thames. Not even errant whistles from the crowd for the greatest whistled melody of 2006.

Least response from the stage – Remi Nicole. She even noted how disengaged she was while performing. Usually anyone can get decent crowd participation at a festival. Not so for Remi. After much goading and prodding, a few willing (drunk) participants decided to sing along to her “now the crowd sings” chorus. She didn’t even congratulate them. Lowest of the low energy from a girl who wrote “Go Mr. Sunshine”. Black people. Figures.

Most appealing crotch grabs/devil horns – Bondo De Role. Portuguese for ROCK! In spite of awful sound (“We would like to bring on the sound guy for this next song for all of his hard work…”), they kept up their spirits and put on a show. I stood front row and was not dissapointed. I even had to pee for 30 minutes prior to their arrival but chanced a hold just to stay at the front. After the show started, I couldn’t stop dancing and completely forgot about nature calling. For those in the MSP, do check them out for a steal at the Triple Rock. They may even have face paint on

Breakthrough performance – The Rumble Strips were a delightful surprise. I was mindlessly biding time until M.I.A and here is this fine British band with quite a strong following. A lead singer with a big voice, a horn section and lots of songs about the dangers of love. And a cardboard cutout banner of their band name. Very crafty. They have quickly become my UK version of the White Rabbits.

Worst performance – The Mitchell Brothers. Even though the rest of the crowd was screaming, I was bored out of my skull. Even after scarfing down a nutella crepe. That takes serious suckage to pull off. I left after only 2 songs.

Best performance – Not the Streets! Shocking, I know. M.I.A, even on crutches, brought more energy and exuberance than anyone else that day. Worth the 35 pounds alone, she sang, danced, screamed, grinded, and crowd surfed (yep, I touched her). Afrikan Boy is the perfect hype man and helped take the show to an ecstatic frenzy. If Kala didn’t make you a believer, the live show will definitely convert you.

For a look at my bootleg photos from the show, check out my flickr set for Get Loaded.

Written by TopDrop

August 29th, 2007 at 2:20 pm

Posted in Drop Kick

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Indie Goes Mainstream Revisit

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And it was so – This is Next, the compilation album of popular independent tracks was released this week with astoundingly low fanfare. Pitchfork utterly blasts the compilation, giving a rare 0.0 and even less overall press is given in support of a seemingly monumental collaboration of independent labels with their larger corporate parents. It seems like a hard niche to corner – the casual indie rock listener who likes the well known and well supported larger acts who do NOT already have the hits downloaded or have bought the full album. There are few surprises on the album and even fewer highlights to note.

Even if this album becomes a straight to Starbucks release, is anyone advancing the state of independent music? I must admit, I am among those who feel betrayed when bands I love become huge mainstream acts with broad appeal. I know this is just a knee-jerk reaction to “claiming” what is new and it is overall a better way for good bands to continue making good music. But a best of what is supposedly underground and prone to quick evolution will always be out of date. Furthermore, if this compilation is any indication of the industries best selection at keeping up to date with what is “Next”, is there any hope at letting truly independent acts with less corporate promotion backing have a shot at wider distribution?

Hmm…. ideas like these make me think twice about supporting this ailing industry.

Written by TopDrop

August 23rd, 2007 at 4:20 pm

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Return of the Closet: Chapter 21

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Nothing says Chicago Italian mobster like a big plate of spaghetti in front of a fat man at a little table in a warehouse. R. is truly the consummate linguist.

Chapter 21

Written by TopDrop

August 23rd, 2007 at 4:06 pm

Return of the Closet: Finale

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True to form, R. Kelly does not disappoint. The “alien” that has grabbed him will not let go until a few more DVDs are sold.

Trapped in the Closet Chapter 22: The finale

Written by TopDrop

August 23rd, 2007 at 4:03 pm

Return of the Closet: Chapter 20

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My first post from across the pond…and it’s of R. How fitting!

Chapter 20

Written by TopDrop

August 20th, 2007 at 3:34 pm

Return of the Closet: Chapter 18 & 19

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You knew it was just a matter of time before Kelly took it to the church. Preach!

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Written by TopDrop

August 19th, 2007 at 12:36 am

New Issue: Junior Senior

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Junior Senior, Hey Hey My My Yo Yo – I freely admit that I am very biased when it comes to Junior Senior. I was madly in love with D-d-don’t Stop the Beat and tried to force my love affair onto as many people as possibly. The album was one big smile wrapped in a rainbow full of sunshine that kept you frantically dancing for a solid 45 minutes. When I first heard “Can I Get-Get-Get”, I knew I was up for another jolt of incessant happiness. To my surprise, the album is more refined in it’s sugary goodness. This time, Jesper and Jeppe have firmly added elements of Motown, The Beach Boys, and early Beatles to add a more depth to the warm glow. Also added are girls. Lots and lots of girls. It almost sounds like a duets album with the amount of estrogen pouring out of each song. Le Tigre, The Velvettes, and the B-52s add a classy touch to these pop nuggets. All of these added inspirations as well as the use of organic instruments vs. synths help propel this album to an instant favorite, particularly if you need a pick me up. Not a single slow song to drag you down. Much like The Go Team, the pace is just a format – lyrics are not compromised by the tempo. My ears are very happy right now. And so is my wallet since you get a free 8 song EP along with album.

Written by TopDrop

August 17th, 2007 at 9:35 pm

New Issue: Justice

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Justice, Cross – This was an eagerly awaited purchase and it more than met my expectations. I was a little scared since I am not usually a house fan. Good thing this is not your usual house album. All songs were fleshy and more rock oriented than the average tinny, treble heavy house/trance that permeates much of Euro club culture. I never once felt bored or stagnate in the album’s progression which is no less than a miraculous feat since I often struggle with the viability of an instrumental heavy dance album. Somehow they managed to capture the spontaneity of live DJing and translated that energy into appetizing 4 minute bites. It’s a clever album without seeming like they worked too hard. With “D.A.N.C.E” as a mega track, this album could have easily fallen off after the third song. Instead, the pace picks up and almost insists on maintaining the pressure of a hot sweaty night out at a discotheque. The only let downs are “The Party” with the most useless female rap caught on disc and “The Valentine” which is not bad, but does not keep up the frenetic energy of the rest of the album.

Maybe I am only enjoying this since I will inevitably be forced to listen to more house over the next year. I hope not. I’ll wallow in my adoration right now and fear the future when it comes.

Video for “D.A.N.C.E.”

Written by TopDrop

August 17th, 2007 at 9:05 pm

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Return of the Closet: Chapter 17

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Short, but sweet. Glad to see R. has liberal views.

Chapter 17

Written by TopDrop

August 17th, 2007 at 9:02 pm

Return of the Closet: Chapter 16

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It just gets deeper….in a shallow way

Chapter 16

Written by TopDrop

August 16th, 2007 at 8:45 pm