The Last Drop

Reviews and Clues on Music That Matters (to me)

Archive for March, 2009

Stockpile: Santogold

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Santogold, Santogold – This was another “I’ll pass on the mainstream release to hear the quirky remix album”. I had about heard enough of Santi White by the time I had left London in September last year. I even went to her show at Scala (quite impressive actually) and was a fan. But the overexposure of almost an entire album was too much for me to handle. So instead of actually buying the album, I went with the Diplo sponsored collabo Top Ranking. Mind you, this was the same approach I (less intentionally) made with Jamie Lidell to much success (try Multiply: Additions on for size if you haven’t had a chance). And to quite honest, I think Top Ranking improves upon the original. But I was shocked to hear how vastly different the recordings were. Where Top Ranking gets it kick from hard nocking beats and deft island inspired mash ups, Santogold is much more straight forward in its rock ambitions. It’s hard for me to truly appreciate all of the reviews on how forward thinking the original was when the remixes elevate her sound. But it is interesting to hear a fresher take on new wave rock. And her voice provides a great instrument that very few vocalists (moreso among women) can match in intensity and range. Even Jay Z took notice. Santogold stands on it’s own in spite of the ambitious Top Ranking and I give ample credit to Santi for bending her “genre” as many ways as possible.

Written by TopDrop

March 12th, 2009 at 12:38 am

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New Issue: Dr. Dog

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Dr. Dog, Fate – Screw the ’60s. The ’70s are back. I know, I just got off of my Animal Collective raving and now I want to put it all behind me for an MD of canines? Hold up a second. This whole animal band name project is starting to gain some momentum. But inevitably I will have to run into a band that is just a dog (bad pun very much intended). Alas, that day has not come and Dr. Dog is opening up a new decade of retro references. Sure, you’ve probably heard ” The Old Days” and couldn’t stop humming along. But maybe a one hit wonder? Nope. All goodness, if a little too sweet at times. I’m still amazed that so many young artists are able to tap into the sounds and recording styles of later eras without sounding trite or shallow. Dr. Dog, much like Fleet Foxes, are able to tap into the layered vocals and melodies of their ’70s influences, yet remain novel in songwriting. Some songs are a little too Paul McCartney a la Wings for me – piano driven classic rock all wrapped up in a big smile – but all in all, I like taking a break from the break-neck pace of the new millennium to sample a throwback ’70s attitude. Please do too!

Written by TopDrop

March 11th, 2009 at 8:53 pm

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Cleaning Up Music on Myspace

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Could it be that there is actually some thought and order being placed on the ever chaotic Myspace? Well, not the entire site. But the most important part of it – MySpace Music – is trying it’s hardest to clean up the junkyard image of it’s parent and to actually provide lots of content that is worthwhile. Like all music, not just the new stuff, from the big 4 labels. Quite an undertaking. Plus adding in album pages (I thought those things were dead…) for those iconic releases that predate ringtone rap.

OK, so the site is still hard to navigate and full of blaring ads (predominantly from the “I have so much cash to burn I’m inviting everyone to the bonfire” Apple). But underneath it all, the service is getting better. Not great, but better. And I am thoroughly impressed with CEO Courtney Holt’s thought process in regards to the ever expanding linking of music online. As much as I want music to be democratized from the current label down attitude, people still have to make money in the process.

The Junkyard Dog ain’t so nasty anymore

Written by TopDrop

March 11th, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Posted in Drop Kick

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Top Drops: February

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Too many to count. Mainly catchup from 2008 but also a strong top 10 contender for 2009.

Portishead, Third Yeah, yeah I was hiding under a rock for a while. But at least I can recognize genius. Even if it’s close to a year late. If you are as bad as me (or worse, I won’t tell…) get this album now before you are publicaly shamed.

Erykah Badu, New Amerykah Pt. OneExperimental of a different kind. Less complete than the Collective and more… Erykah like. I saw her in concert and she couldn’t stop yapping about her chakras. I guess she’s moved on to fighting against materialist concerns. But she still doesn’t complete a thought often. Lucky for her it still all sounds good.

Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion – Animals are good for your. You can read about it in JAMA or something. Anyway, my health has been restored and I’m feeling more bouyant than ever. If you don’t get this same feeling from “My Girls” then something is wrong with you.

Written by TopDrop

March 2nd, 2009 at 1:05 pm