music

runthejewels

The Best Hip-Hop Album of the Past Year You Never Heard

Run The Jewels goes H.A.M. – check out this amazing album from Killer Mike and El-P, released for free!

Superior lyrics, satisfying flows, and devastating beats form the bouillabaisse of this bad-ass album. Enjoy the Hip & the Hop? This is a must listen to.

runthejewels

Some things are too beautiful to not share

This is Bear’s Den, a British Folk Rock group that play some of the most beautiful music you’ve ever heard. I don’t post a lot of music here, but damn – this is incredibly moving. Also, I might have a dash of beard-envy.

Enjoy.

A Classic Hip-Hop Album turns 21

Nas’ renowned debut album, “Illmatic” turns 21 today. If you’re a fan of the art form, and you’re not familiar (or you just want a reminder of how ground breaking this album was) have a listen to one of the greatest hip-hop tracks of all time.

From Wikipedia:

Best of D&D Studios, Vol. 1. Steve ‘Flash’ Juon of RapReviews.com states:

“[Illmatic] was to be an album steeped in the rich traditions of hip-hop history, mixed with the most advanced verbal styles and fat beats that could be put on wax. And if it couldn’t be set off any more right already, the DJ Premier produced “N.Y. State of Mind” was designed to knock you right off your feet. Primo’s knack for finding the illest piano loops and matching them to pounding beats was perfected in this track, and paired with a Rakim sample on the chorus that provided the mental link for an analogy most rap heads had already made by now: Nas was the NEW Rakim on the block.[9]

“I wish it was all a dream”

iwishitwasalladream8tracks

8tracks.com features streaming music, in mix-tape format, made by real people from their own collections – and I’m absolutely in love with it.

For the last three years it’s given me insight into so many incredible songs and artists and offered an instant escape into whatever mood I’m feeling. Pandora can’t do that. Spotify can’t do that. Not to knock those services, but nothing beats this.

If you’re old enough to remember the joy of making or receiving mix tapes you’ll immediately appreciate the simplicity and the beauty of what they’re doing. This morning I answered the call of the 8tracks.com tumblr blog and got this treat. Indie jams perfectly matching my dispistion this morning. Which is awesome, because yesterday afternoon it was mid-90’s NYC rap that was fueling my work, but this morning called for something a little more chill and this was beyond perfect.

Feeling wistful and breezy this early Fall morning? Pop this on and just go with it (click on the picture) – odds are you’ve never heard of half of the artists or the songs and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Even if you don’t care for this mix, 8tracks has something you’re going to love. Start listening to music again like you did in high school, and, if you’re feeling up to it, make a mix for someone else by simply dragging/dropping from your own music collection. You can post the cover art, name it, and send them the link in a matter of minutes.

 

 

A Song, An Original Typed Story, and Picking Yourself

During a recent sojourn through the fjords of the internet, I ran into a remarkable artist going by the twitter handle @RovingTypist. His real name is C.D. Hermelin, and he types original one-page stories, on an honest-to-god typewriter in the parks of NYC, all while you wait, and for a donation amount of your choosing.

How cool is that?!

Having seen it, and that he also takes requests for stories via his website, I had to order one. But what about? The coolest aspect of this little service of Christopher’s is that you can provide him with as much or as little (read: none) information to craft your story.

Recently, I’d become obsessed with this song by a fledgling band called The Front Bottoms, and more specifically their song “Twin Size Mattress” which had been on repeat at my desk for a week.

So, I decided to ask the Roving Typist to listen to it and write whatever came to mind. It didn’t have to be about the song at all, could just have been a thought that formed while listening to it. The final product was amazing in how well it fit together and created this little possible backstory for the song.

My Story from @RovingTypist

My Story from @RovingTyp

I tweeted the author to convey my thanks and was hit back with this:

tweetRovingTypist

All of this then ties in with another of my favorite authors, Seth Godin. One of his big sticking points is that in a world of people that get picked, we should pick ourselves. Sure, a publisher could do it, or a record company, or art dealer – but that’s not really necessary or ideal at this point. Pick yourself. Put your art into the world. Make connections. This is your time, and if you do something remarkable, why not let people know it?

C.D. Hemelin is most certainly doing that, and succeeding on a grand scale of connecting with people and making a difference in their lives.

This entire trip has been an amazing experience. I’ve realized fully, the value of being your most authentic self. Reaching out to another person I’d never meet and then to get a piece of art (and this is most definitely art!) that I’ll always tie to a time and place. Plus, I get another great story – or, two, actually.

If this remotely appeals to you, I suggest you contact the Roving Typist and let him share his art with you. Even at the $25 I chose to spend, it’s a pittance, and something you’ll enjoy sharing with others.