23 March 2007

Straight Outta Boulder

I managed to stumble on this video during my forays into Internet today, and I must say that at first I found it hilarious. Here are two lanky-as-hell white boys from Boulder with a great video clip and a great name. They make no pretenses about how tough they are or where they are from; the name of the group is 3oh!3, referencing the distinguished area code of Denver/Boulder, and they lay down some pretty sweet beats. Yet even with the tongue-in-cheek references "You a punk bitch if you don't know 'bout Boulder," they aren't just two comedians making white-boy hip-hop (unlike a certain hip-hop supergroup I was a member of in high school; shout out to White Man's Burden). The song "Holler Till You Pass Out," sounds just as good and/or better than the majority of the radio hip-hop singles I hear (which, granted, is pretty much limited to riding in cars with my friends and or high school dances). Nevertheless, it is some quality stuff, the beats are good, the rhymes tight, and the lyrical wordplay, while not on the level of an Eminem or The Streets or Hova, is enough to carry the incredibly catchy chorus. The video is also great, with the guys playing faculty members at presumably a middle school, who act like Bill Murray in Rushmore, blocking shots and, in a particularly memorable game of Telephone, blowing smoke in a kid's face. All in all, this duo, despite clowing around a bit, are genuinely talented musicians who are able to mix samples, beats, and instruments into catchy songs that are just plain fun. Also, be sure to check out the sweet shirts including the Denver Gang Sign shirt and the infamous wolf shirt.

3Oh!3 Myspace

3Oh!3 on Purevolume

21 March 2007

Girls Doing Embroidery

First of all, I gotta give a shoutout to Olga, who was the coolest internship manager person/boss I've ever had. She got me into a Tapes 'N Tapes show at Other Music, and also threw some good parties in Brooklyn that were well worth taking the train for 30 minutes to get to. And I can't rave enough about The Gramaphone Family, her idea for an artist commune/record label/house that is actually happening. Second of all, I've been using Hypem for a while now to find new music, and I highly recommend it. So imagine my surprise when I went to Hypem today to find some songs by The Besnard Lakes and I found new songs added by Girls Doing Embroidery, which despite the plural name is just Olga, on the front page. It seems that the fellow who runs The Torture Garden, an mp3 blog, has discovered Sunset Park's best-kept secret. This made me extremely happy, and I felt like writing a post about it. And if you are reading this, Olga, congratulations on your first review. Her music is downloadable from Myspace, and it may not be your cup of tea, but I enjoy it. Of particular interest to some would be the excellent cover of an unreleased Jeff Mangum song "Little Birds" featuring the equally talented and cool Johnny Lamb.

God, Give Us Love in the Time that We Have

Iron & Wine- On Your Wings
God, there is gold hidden deep in the ground
God, there’s a hangman that wants to come around

How we rise when we’re born
like the ravens in the corn
on their wings, on our knees
crawling careless from the sea

God, give us love in the time that we have

God, there are guns growing out of our bones
God, every road takes us farther from home

All these men that you made
how we wither in the shade
of your trees, on your wings
we are carried to the sea

God, give us love in the time that we have

Last year, Iron & Wine was my band of the week for like 15 weeks straight. From September to December, the only bands I returned to and returned to are Sufjan Stevens, Antony and the Johnsons, and Iron & Wine. This song has been the song stuck in my head countless times. The simple beauty of the lyrics just captivates me; "God, give us love in the time that we have." These ten words manage to communicate three of the deepest, most resonating themes in humanity. Sam Beam is (a)Pleading with God, (b) yearning for Love, and (c) Recognizing his own mortality and the essential mortal nature of man. He also manages to speak to the idea of home and leaving it, and the idea that war is such a prevalent part of humanity that it has become part of the essence of humanity, and in just two more lines: "God, there are guns growing out of our bones. God, every road takes us farther from home." The simple Southern Gothic sound of this lyric, Beam's whiskey soaked gravelly voice, and the coupling of leaving home and war evoke a Civil War soldier marching down a dusty trail from his home in Georgia to go fight his cousins. These actions may not describe me, but the song about them resonates with me. Plus, Sam Beam has maybe the most baller beard of a champion in all of music. (See Above)