Read It Later Roulette

I’m on earthquake watch tonight. The biggun happened on Tuesday afternoon, but I slept through both of the subsequent early-morning aftershocks. As I try to stay awake long enough for tonight’s edition, I thought I’d try something totally new — Read It Later roulette. If you don’t use Read It Later (or something like it), it’s an incredibly useful and simple tool (it’s a plugin for many browsers, my iPhone Twitter client uses it as well) that lets you add links to one central list for future perusal. It’s great for when you don’t have time to freely surf the world wide web of information by day, and great for keeping up with music news. Without further ado, let’s play! The following are links I stumbled across at some point today:

Apparently, Kate Miller-Heidke, whose song “Are You Fucking Kidding Me” still has me rotflmao-ing, once sang in an opera about Jerry Springer, which she calls “sheer brilliance” (the opera, not Springer). I think she’s brilliant, and I’m excited she’s recording an album in October! Read an interview with KMH at the Village Voice.

I hope Pearl Jam plans to update the liner notes for their next best-of album, given that the true spelling of some key lyrics to “Alive” have been unearthed. Thank to you Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr for documenting this important archival discovery on their Twitter feed.

St. Vincent released the video for new song “Cruel,” in which she has the worst kids and husband ever. Let’s find Annie Clark a better family, because she seems like a nice lady to me. And if anyone can think of what commercial(s) the husband is from, PLEASE leave a comment. It’s bugging the hell out of me.

Kanye performed a 20-minute version of “Runaway” in Portland, and Rolling Stone posted a fan video. Just when I was ready to cry senseless self-indulgence, he brings the free-form epic to a close by pointing out that he “had the nerve to play you this song.” That is why Kayne is the best. Never ever change, Yeezy.

Lastly, music blogs asploded (and I nearly spat out my lunch) last Wednesday when James Blake cryptically announced a collabo with Bon Iver. The gorgeous tune is called “Fall Creek Boys Choir” and it just made it’s way online. I would like to place an order for an entire album of that. Kthx.

So, still no aftershocks, but I’m going to bed. I need my sleep — hurricane watch is on tap for tomorrow…


James Drake

We live in a crazy world of possibilities. Want proof? There is so much music in the world that people sit around MAKING AWESOME MUSIC OUT OF OTHER PEOPLE’S AWESOME MUSIC. It’s like usury, except it won’t land you in the 7th circle of Dante’s Inferno! Yay! With sampling, remixes, mix tapes, mashups, and whatever the hell you want to call Girl Talk, there exists a wild and diverse ecosystem of used tunes that overflows with creativity, and I’m extremely pumped about what washed up at my feet today. James Drake is the work of Philly producers Bombé and Mr. Caribbean, and it mashes together the music of British composer/performer James Blake and Canadian rapper/performer Drake. That’s right friends! Drake’s Canadian! And so is Alex Trebek! Yeah, I guess everybody knows that one … how about Michael Cera? Whaaaat? I know! OK, moving on … While most producers and DJs would settle for throwing a few Drake verses over some of Blake’s electronic soul songs, James Drake provides valuable insight into what makes these two musicians tick, boiling down the two singers’ common mastery of melancholy into a potent concentrate. And let me tell ya, this is one weighty bouillabaisse. The combination acts like it has it’s own gravitational pull – anytime you hear a flash of Drake’s star power, or of Blake’s subtle sweetness, the other is there to bring the darkness back into focus. It’s a fascinating listen, slickly produced and truly fun, in spite of it’s gravity. Listen to the whole thing below or download it for free here. And if you don’t have James Blake’s self-titled album, get that shit STAT and then get your James Drake on.

James Blake

James Blake

I dunno about you, but I’m not always an early adopter of new music. Often I’ll hear a new artist’s name and read a good review or two, but it usually takes a push from the right person at the right time to get me to dive in. Such was the case with James Blake. After some encouragement from a very trusted source, I finally heard his eponymous album yesterday, and it’s fantastic. I don’t care whether you call it dubstep or not (seems like a silly distinction to me, and James Blake agrees). All that matters is that it’s one of the most elegantly produced albums I’ve ever heard. I have a feeling I’ll be spending a lot of time with this one.