August 07 Mix

1) Madlib – Freeze
I had a little free space, so I decided to toss on this weird little Madlib instrumental. It kind of works as an intro to the next song.

2) M.I.A. – Big Branch
I like the nursery-rhyme rapping over big drums. Of course few nursery rhymes include lines like “I sh*t on the ho” and “hit her with the muthaf***ing branch!” This is a bonus track from the Japanese release…I’ll probably have some album tracks on next month’s mix. It’s gotten good reviews, but I haven’t listened to it yet.

3) Justice – D.A.N.C.E.
These guys have been getting a ton of internet hype, and I’m normally skeptical of hyped up electronic groups…especially French ones. But it’s tough to listen to this song without being immediately put in a good mood.

4) Ben Westbeech – Get Silly
I kept going back and forth on this one. Do I really like this song? If so, do I really want to admit to liking this song? In the end though, this song was just too damn catchy and I think there are probably a few of us (myself certainly included) who can relate to the lyrics.

5) M.I.A. – Boyz (The Twelves Remix)
Keepin’ the party rockin’. I don’t know who the Twelves are, and I have no clue what M.I.A. is saying, but I like this.

6) Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Down Boy
From the Is Is EP. Karen O scares me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSpDVcVKsXE

7) King Khan & the Shrines – I Wanna Be a Girl
I send this one out to Raul. Nobody else can explain how awesome girls are better than Raul, Miami’s number 1 male lesbian. Anyways, this song sounds like it was written by Raul.

8) The Black Lips – Good Bad Not Evil
Sloppy, fun “garage” rock (for lack of a better term) has been my sh*t the past couple months (see also: Oxford Collapse, Narrator, King Khan). Nobody does it quite as sloppy as the Black Lips. Bonus points for the Magic City shout out in the middle of a chorus that begs to be sung along to.

9) Shapes ‘N Sizes – Head Movin’
Their album is a mess (not in a good way), but this song is quite good.

10) The Black Lips – Lock And Key
The best song off a very good album. The NY Times did a cool video feature on the Black Lips’ visit to SXSW earlier this year: http://video.on.nytimes.com/?fr_story=2f2aaf87dff4ef1400e5ed5b4c06f55be51520b9

11) Kevin Drew – TBTF
I call BS. Nobody is TBTF! But this song is still PDG.

12) King Khan & the Shrines – Welfare Bread
If I had to pick one song for my favorite of the month, this would easily be it. “Welfare Bread” will always = August 2007 for me.

13) Joe Bataan – Under the Street Lamp
Bonus points if any of you can name the hip-hop song (featured on a previous monthly mix) that samples this song. Joe Bataan is probably the most famous Filipino singer I know (barely edging out Julius Ulunday and his Halloween ’04 performance of “She Bangs” at Moose Head). Another fun-fact (courtesy of Wikipedia): Bataan’s daughter won the the Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll.

14) The Manhattans – Follow Your Heart
Here’s another sweet soul song that’s been sampled (this time by RJD2). I also think El Michels Affair stole that tuba line for their song “Too Late to Turn Back” (see March 07). I guess I’m not the only guy who really likes this song!

15) The Majestic Arrows – The Magic of Your Love
Another gem from Numero Group’s Eccentric Soul series. If this one hasn’t been sampled by anyone yet, it should be. Those opening strings sound so majestic, and then there’s that little keyboard tinkling underneath that sounds kind of small and humble…it sounds great together. It sounds like something that Kanye could do something really good with.

16) The Budos Band – Mas O Menos
I still haven’t heard all the songs from their new one, but every song I’ve heard has been absolute nails. Maybe I should actually buy the CD.

17) Los Van Van – Y No Le Conviene
From the highly recommended Si, Para Usted: The Funky Beats of Revolutionary Cuba, Vol. 1. I don’t know why, but I feel like we’ll be hearing this song on a commercial sometime in the near future (anyone else notice how many good songs are being used in commercials lately?).

18) Sean Price – Jamaican
While Durham’s own Khrysis quite nicely flips Sister Nancy’s classic “Bam Bam” for the beat, Sean P pulls off an ironic cover of BDP’s “Stop the Violence” for the hook. Of course, P’s version is all ignorance, threats, and gratuitous violence…but that’s why I love him! This comes from Sean P’s Master P mixtape, the early leader for best album cover of the year.

19) Tanya Morgan (ft. Che Grand) – And You Say
Here’s another great summer jam courtesy of Von Pea, Donwill, Ilyas, and Che Grand that flips another classic beat, this one a remake of LL’s “Jingling Baby” (oh how I long for the days when LL actually made good songs!).

20) Median – Personified (Remix)
Undoubtedly, Median is Wilmington NC’s best rapper. Dude is clever (see: this song) and makes all of his verses sound completely effortless (see: every one of his songs). If he just got better at writing hooks…

21) Common – The People
One of my favorite rappers of all time laid an egg with Finding Forever, but this song is pretty good, despite the line “while white people focus on dogs and yoga.” WTF? Don’t make me post links to your Gap ad, or your ridiculously overpriced and ugly hats, Common!

22) Lil’ Wayne – Feel Like Dying
Meanwhile, Weezy F. is absolutely on top of his game. “I am sitting on the clouds, I’ve got smoke coming from my seat / I can play basketball with the moon, I’ve got the whole world at my feet.” That sounds more like something that you’d expect from a rapper like Edan, rather than one of the biggest pop stars alive. If you would have told me three years ago that I’d be more excited about Lil’ Wayne than Common, I would have been shocked. Will rap’s Jim Morrison make it past age 27? Judging by this song, I’m leaning towards “no”.

23) Kevin Drew – Bodhi Sappy Weekend
This is the prefect album-closer.

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