Big Star - Thirteen (Live)
Yes, Snarky McSnarkston, I am well aware that espousing your love for Big Star is probably second only to introducing your moody teen cousin to The Velvet Underground in the list of Aging Hipster Clichés, but reading Robert Gordon's It Came From Memphis had me on a bit of an Alex Chilton kick this week. From million-selling teen pop idol to guiding force of one of the 70s' seminal cult bands in a half dozen years and all before the age of 24, it is hardly surprising that Chilton became one of the venerated saints of the 80s American indie underground. One can only hope that this is how Miley Cyrus' career will go. Hopefully, The Cramps will still be around for her to produce when she is in her washed up pill-head phase. This is a live version of Big Star's beloved teen angst ballad from a show in 1974. Good stuff.
PRGz feat. Jackie Chain - Rollin (DJ Ayres Remix)
Just when the blog hype was starting to die down around Huntsville, Alabama's vaguely mysterious Paper Route Records rap scene, DJ Ayres of Brooklyn's The Rub crew goes and works this little bit of remix magic with some synths borrowed from French prog/electro/dance/new wave/whatever-you-want-to-call-'ems M83. The internet can't seem to agree on if this track is by PRGz or Hood Headlinaz, but regardless of who is there rapping with Jackie Chain, Ayres has definitely turned this ode to being on ecstasy for weeks on end in to a menacing throb more reminiscent of how I think I would feel after such a lengthy bout of "rolling." Hopefully, this will remind Diplo of how impatiently people are awaiting Mad Decent's Paper Route collabo project, and it will see the light of day before prime summer driving season is over.
Pnau feat. Ladyhawke - Embrace (Fred Falke & Miami Horror Remix)
This remix of Pnau's new single is like a globe-straddling Voltron minus one of the lions (or minus however many cars, planes, and boats made up the less good Voltron that was on in the mornings). With Pnau, Ladyhawke, and Miami Horror representing the Australia/NZ wing and Fred Falke flying the tri-color for France, this one just needs someone from LA to send the needle flying past the red zone on the Blog House Boner Overload meter. Luckily, instead of defining the term "hot mess" like a number of recent blog house collaborations (I see you Busy P and Murs.), Falke puts his masterfully sticky fingers all over "Embrace" and adds another silky smooth dance jam to his 2008 résumé. Come December, I think everyone will look back and realize he has pretty much owned this year. Q: Will that one guy ever stop riding Fred Falke's dick? A: Unlikely.
Killer Mike - 10 G's
With Killer Mike's I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind II dropping last Tuesday and David Banner's The Greatest Story Ever Told due to be released next Tuesday, July is shaping up as a banner month for strong, righteous Southern rap. Killer Mike's latest opus proves once again that few on either side of the Mason-Dixon Line can hold a candle to him when it comes to mic skills and the ability to straddle the thug/teacher, gangster/poet fence without lapsing in to caricature on either side. A perfect example of that dichotomy is this lead off track that recommends flipping hustling money in to real estate investments and the procurement of Fed Ex jobs by any drug dealer over thirty. Plus, it has a monster beat made for rattling trunks. Another strong statement for one of rap's most singular and independent voices and another long step out of Oukast's shadow, this one comes highly recommended. Cop that album.
The Durutti Column - Head Glue
I'll round things out this week with a wussy ambient guitar slow burn courtesy of Factory Records surviors The Durutti Column for all of you who enjoy smoking grass. A lovely eight minute outing from Vini Reilly's forthcoming album Sunlight To Blue ... Blue To Blackness, "Head Glue" is one of a handful of vocal tracks scattered throughout the album and finds Reilly dueting with an (at the time of this writing) unknown female vocalist over a track that whispers "shoegaze" in your ear as it calls up images of English bands fronted by quirkily cute Asian women being interviewed in the 90s run of Creem magazine.