Food For Thought
So lately I’ve been pretty bad at putting up new content on a regular basis. I started a new job back in April and it has been consuming a lot of my free time. Therefore, in lieu of a full review this week, I am posting just a few things that have caught my attention as of late.
The Shins - Point Of Morrow
For those of you who found The Shins in the same way that I did (watching Garden State), you’ll be pleased to know this album does not deviate much from Oh, Inverted World, the debut album where the tracks “New Slang” and “Caring Is Creepy” were pulled from for Garden State’s soundtrack. While the tracks are all new and the music is catchy as ever, there is no mistake that this album is The Shins through and through. Throw this on and you’ll quickly lose yourself (and track of time) in the melodic sounds of this stellar 10-track album. Standout tracks include “Simple Song”, “It’s Only Life”, “Fall Of 82’”, and “40 Mark Strasse”. You can pick up this album at most places that sell music (i.e. Newbury Comics) or on iTunes.
Joshua Radin - “Underwater” - Free Download
Josh Radin is releasing a new album titled Underwater on July 31. In celebration of this new release, he has made the title track “Underwater” available for Free Download on his Facebook page. Accompanied by his staple acoustic guitar and soft vocals, Radin does not disappoint with this taste of his new album. Check it out here.
Django Django - Self Titled Debut Album
If you’re looking to stay on the forefront of new music, look no further than Django Django, a psychedelic quartet hailing from Britain. The band has just released it’s self titled debut album and has already drawn the attention of much of the UK. They will likely be doing the same stateside soon enough. The first two releases, “Waveforms” and “Default” show a lot of originality and deviate from contemporary structured sound that many of us have [unfortunately] come to expect from music. Don’t be scared by these new tunes. Sometimes a little shakeup is just what your day needs. You can buy their album here.
Childish Gambino - “We Ain’t Them” (prod. Childish Gambino & Ludwig) - Free Download
After being down for a few weeks, Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino, has relaunched his Tumblr/web page www.iamdonald.com. Along with this new page comes a new Childish Gambino song , “We Ain’t Them”. This new track seems to be another self proclaimed story of Gambino’s rise to fame. Regardless, he can add this song to his growing list of catchy one-off’s. While he seems to refrain from his usual style of clever rhymes and hashtag raps, it is still quite an enjoyable track to add to your summer playlist. Get it here.
Until next time my friends…
In the 15+ years since I owned a TI-83 graphing calculator, wifi has become ubiquitous, we’ve had four or seven foreign wars (who’s counting?) and telephones have gone from football-sized chunks of plastic with twelve pushbuttons to pocket computers with magical touchscreens.
The TI-83 has remained the same, including the price. It wasn’t so outrageous back in the day, but considering you can get a real laptop for a hundred bucks, $80 is a bit much for this piece of shit calculator that barely plays Space Invaders.
Hoodie Allen - The All American Tour (with Wax)
For those of us lucky enough to live in the Boston area, Wednesday, April 25 meant two things: (1) The Bruins would be playing (and [sadly] eventually losing to) the Capitals at The Garden in Game 7 of the first-round playoff series for the Stanley Cup & (2) Hoodie Allen was performing live at the Royale. While quite aware of both events, I chose to attend the Hoodie Allen concert, partly because tickets to Game 7 would have been ridiculously priced, but also because Hoodie is a great live performer and I was lucky enough to be part of a pre-show Meet & Greet. The downside to this was that Hoodie was actually not able to talk during the Meet & Greet due to a vocal issue (more on that later). Despite that, he was gracious (as always) to meet his fans, take pictures, and sign autographs.
Getting right into the heart of it, the show was opened by a small act that I, unfortunately, did not get the name of. They did, however, bring a great energy to the crowd. Lasting for about 30 minutes, the rap group prepped the crowd for the main draws of the night, Wax and Hoodie Allen. Taking the stage with an acoustic guitar in hand, Wax quietly walked out and took a seat. This threw me for a bit of a loop because I was under the impression that Wax was strictly a rapper, so this immediate showmanship of musical talent was welcoming. Wax kicked off the night by explaining that his girlfriend recently broke up with him. However, this wasn’t him playing the sympathy card, but rather prepping us for his insanely crude, but uproariously funny song “She Used To Be Mine”. The vibe was very reminiscent of South Beach, Sublime-esque ska. After playing one more song on guitar, Wax moved into his set, putting down the guitar and picking up the microphone, performing songs like ”Rosana” and “Limousine” off his mixtape Eviction Notice. The choice for Wax as the main opener for Hoodie Allen was definitely a good one, as his enthusiasm matches Hoodie’s while maintaining a style all his own. Wax definitely has musical talent backing him up, making me think we’ll be seeing more of him in the near future.
Once Wax finished his set, Hoodie Allen took the stage with his band. The fact that Hoodie is using a backing band rather than simply playing his beats (something Childish Gambino has also been doing on tour) is a true testament to how much he’s been making his music more original than ever. Kicking off the night with a rock-inspired “Star Spangled Banner”, the band quickly moved into Hoodie songs both old and new. Here’s a quick set list recap:
Star Spangled Banner Intro
Look At What We Started
Song For An Actress
No Faith in Brooklyn
Chase is On (with an A Cappella start)
Stronger (Kanye West cover) Hoodie also played the piano intro to this
Can’t Hold Me Down
Freestyle over Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me”
Brain Stew/Freestyle (Greenday cover) in which Hoodie introduced the band
Joy & Misery
White Girl Problems
Shark In The Water
Set Your Soul On Fire
Top of the World
Small Town Girl (Integrated with Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know”)
You Are Not A Robot
During the show, Hoodie revealed that he recently damaged his vocal chords and was advised by his doctor to cancel the entire All American Tour. However, Hoodie, always dedicated to his fans, has refused to do such a thing. A full explanation of what’s been going on was released by Hoodie the next day in a letter to fans posted on Facebook. While he decided to postpone a few tour dates so he can rest his voice a bit, he has been insistent that canceling the tour is not an option, continuing to show that his dedication to fans is truly unmatched.
Despite his condition, Hoodie impressed the crowd with a high energy, great sounding performance. I doubt anyone in the crowd would have even suspected his voice was hurting if he hadn’t mentioned it. However, it’s good to hear that he decided to take a few days to rest up so he doesn’t hurt himself further. Hopefully, he will have a speedy recovery so he can continue to do what he does best, make fans happy.
Get Tickets for The All American Tour
Download All of Hoodie Allen’s previous music for FREE
Download Hoodie Allen’s new All American EP
Download Wax’s FREE mixtape Eviction Notice
Watch a performance of Wax, including his hilariously lewd song “She Used To Be Mine”
Follow Wax and Hoodie Allen on Twitter