Had a pretty busy weekend last week, what with a Fukuikenjinkai Shinnenkai on Saturday night (pic below), and a pretty enjoyable Superbowl on Sunday, so I didn’t get a chance to post a Sunday Shuffle.
Here’s a group I haven’t heard in a while. I originally got this album after hearing the Frou Frou track on the Garden State soundtrack, and for a while I couldn’t get enough of it. Definitely still enjoy it, but not something I listen to on a regular basis. This track’s not the greatest, though. It’s a long one with a bit of a boring house(?) beat that just doesn’t do much for me.
2. Street Sweeper Social Club – The Oath (from their self titled debut album )
Supergroup of Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine and Boots Riley from The Coup. Originally got this just because of who it was and high expectations, but didn’t end up listening to it all that much. Sounds a bit like Rage but with a different vocalist (who unfortunately can’t carry a track like Zach could). Not bad, but just nothing all that special. Kinda feels like it missing emotion or something, particularly in the vocals.
3. 凛として時雨(Rin to Shite Shigure) – a 7days wonder (from the album just A moment)
One of my favorite Japanese bands. That said, their stuff is really out there and I really need to be in the right mood to listen to it. This track is a pretty good one though, nice dancey beat, some cool time signature stuff, but nothing too crazy, and some nice guitar work throughout.
4. RIZE – Japonican (from the album Foreplay)
These guys are a pretty cool rap/rock group from Japan, still going strong after a good 10-15 years. I discovered these guys through a friend of mine while I was in college and have been a fan since, though some part of me still feels that there is something just a little bit cheesy and lame about their stuff. This track is an interesting one; they go a bit softer in this one, putting together a pretty decent reggae track. Sounds a bit like something you’d expect from an early 311 album.
Couldn’t find a video or mp3 for this one, but you can check out a clip here at the Japanese HMV website.
5. Mos Def – Habitat (from his debut solo album Black on Both Sides)
As I mentioned last time with Talib Kweli, Mos Def is one of those artists that I feel like I should REALLY enjoy, so I got all of his stuff, and there are many tracks that I do love of his, but I’ve never completely gotten into his stuff. I generally listen to it when it comes on, but it’s not something I regularly listen to. Don’t really know this song at all, and after listening to it, it’s not bad, but it just doesn’t really hold my attention.
6. Wu-Tang Clan – Second Coming (from the album Wu-Tang Forever)
Now here’s a rap group I do really enjoy, and listen to quite a bit, but this album is actually the album I’ve heard least out of everything they’ve put out. Basically, when I was in high school, I wasn’t really into them and only listened to a few tracks off of 36 Chambers, then when I was in college I (re)discovered them when they had their comeback with The W and Iron Flag, so I never really knew this album. Listening to this track, it turns out it’s not even really a Wu-Tang song. It’s really a less than appealing R&B song with some unknown female singer (at least unknown to me…).
7. 80kidz – Weekend Warrior (from the album of the same name )
Here’s a track from a group I’ve talked about on my blog before. This is another CD I put in my iPod before actually listening to, and while it’s not at all bad, it’s not something I ever really listen to. After you get past the weird radio tuning stuff at the beginning of the song, it’s a pretty sweet dance track that I would definitely enjoy if it came on in a club. Not interesting enough to listen to all the time really, but definitely danceable and fun.
8. The Cure – Wrong Number (a new track on the singles collection Galore)
Here’s a band I never really listened to in their heyday, but have since gone back and really fallen in love with (at least a handful of songs anyway). I only have their greatest hits album on my iPod and this is one of the tracks on it. It’s a more recent song of theirs and as such, one that I am completely unfamiliar with. Hmm, after listening, it turns out I do know the song, though not sure how, heh. Anyway, not a great track musically, but I am a very big fan of Robert Smith’s voice, so while I was ready to turn the track off, as soon as he started singing, I kinda enjoyed it.
9. Nature Living – walk upon thorns (from the album ANONYMOUS)
This is one of the first bands I discovered while I was in Japan, and they were one of my favorites. Much like a lot of those Japanese bands though (Dustbox and Fact to name a few), they sort of got less adventurous and became more and more generic as they went on, with all of their stuff sort of just all sounding the same. Now don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean they aren’t good and that I don’t like them, just that I like the stuff I heard first a lot more because it was new and unique and I just listened to the new stuff a lot less. Listening to this track, it probably would have made me a fan if this were the first thing I’d heard, but I can’t say that it’s great. Now, to give credit where credit is due, they put out an album just before this one that was all cover songs (After All) and that is one of my absolute favorite albums of theirs.
10. Matisyahu – Jersualem (from the album Youth)
Last up, we’ve got a track from the world’s best (and most likely ONLY) Hasidic reggae artist. I first discovered him while researching artists that would be playing at Summer Sonic that year. (Side note: even if you can’t go to Summer Sonic, or have no intention of going in the first place, check out the final list of performers on their website and give them all a listen. I have discovered so many new bands that way, including some of my absolute favorite artists). After hearing some of his stuff online, I saw this album in the store, picked it up on a whim, and was pretty much obsessed with it that summer; which is kinda funny since I’ve never been all that big a reggae fan. I saw him live that year at Summer Sonic and had a blast. After that though, I sort of just stopped listening to him, for whatever reason. This isn’t the best song on the album, but the whole album is pretty good.
Well, that’s it for this week. All in all a pretty weak showing this time. To be honest, I’d probably have skipped all 10 of these if they came up regularly. Now, they’re all on my iPod for some reason or other, and you may like some of these a lot more than I do.