URGH! A Music Blog


Get More Stupider!

Posted in Dance,Jupiter Rising by M on July 31, 2007

Jesse Payo and Spencer Nezey of Jupiter Rising

You know we love our electronic pop here at URGH, but do we love “Electropop”, a single by newcomers Jupiter Rising?

Sadly, I can’t give the song my blessing. As is, “Electropop” shows Jupiter Rising growing into either a less embarrassing Black Eyed Peas outfit or a less talented Nelly/Timba collaboration. They’re going to hit a wall really fast if they continue this way.

Plus their lyrics are painfully stupid.

But there’s hope! “Electropop” is delivered in a singsong, male/female counterpoint rap lifted from Prince’s “Erotic City”. They steal from the best! And I’d rather hear this pair appropriate “Erotic City” instead of The Outhere Brothers for “Boom Boom Boom”.

There’s also a Lenny B remix of “Electropop” that ups the electro! The vocal pas de deux is interrupted by a robot voice that sounds as if Lenny is holding Daft Punk at gunpoint in the studio! Plus the song gets unapologetically crunchy and nasty! I’ve never seen this side of Lenny! It suits him well. I’d like to see him go head to head with Tom Neville (who did brilliant work for Studio B and Khia) and see who can create the crunchiest, most inane pop single.

The Jupiter Rising full length debuts in September. And apparently

“The Bus”, another of Electropop’s standout tracks [is] a showcase for guest rapper Christopher ‘Kid’ Reid, of Kid ‘n’ Play.

HELL YES.

Kid 'n' Play

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Call Mr. Goodnight!

Posted in Prince,Rock by M on July 30, 2007

Well, I liked it.

Prince - Planet Earth

To the critics that mock the lyrics of “Mr. Goodnight” and their resemblance to the writings of The Onion’s Smoove B—have any of you considered that this could be intentional?

Prince is a touchy guy, but he laughed at his Chappelle Show sendup. And he let Tony M drink his girl’s bathwater. I’d be willing to believe Prince enjoys the ridiculous side of lovemaking.

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If You Meet The Buddha On The Grass…

Posted in Cypress Hill,Hip-Hop,Rock The Bells by M on July 30, 2007

Attention Cypress Hill Fans!

Giant inflatable Herb Buddha.

That is all.

A giant inflatable Buddha holding a marijuana leaf at Rock The Bells.  Photo by Slimer525.

More Rock The Bells goodness, courtesy of Slimer525.

Fear of A Dance Planet

Posted in Benassi,Dance,Don Diablo,Ferry Corsten,Hip-Hop,Public Enemy by M on July 27, 2007

Whatever you do, don’t believe the hype!

Chuck D. of Public Enemy giving the audience the finger.  Photo by Ross Gilmore.

If only the hype weren’t true! Public Enemy is going to get a dance remix album!

The remixes of “Bring the Noise” and “Give it Up” will be individually remixed by Ferry Corsten, Benny Benassi and Don Diablo and released by Ultra on August 21st.

You heard that right. In fact, Chuck D himself, back from a distinguished lecture series, throws laurels at the DJs:

Benny Benassi takes his trademark house/Euro sound and incorporates traces of trance to mind-bend the listener into a haze of consciousness.

Easy there, Chuck!

For those of you that may be unfamiliar with these artists, let me remind you:

  • Ferry Corsten: The guy who’s last hip-hop effort—“Junk” with Guru from Gang Starr—was not as strong as it should have been.
  • Benny Benassi: The guy whose “Satisfaction” video singlehandedly saved Home Depot from bankruptcy.
  • Don Diablo: The guy who, as Divided, combined Phil Collins and Furry Porn?

This is completely unnecessary, but at least all of the above producers are interesting musicians. And Benassi’s Stephen Hawking voicebox will make a less embarrassing hype man than Flav. But if they screw this up, I may have to begin my terrible campaign of lamping.

And lamping is a dish best served cold.

Feisty Fans!

Posted in Feist,Metric,Rock by M on July 25, 2007

Feist - The Reminder

Ben Marwood of the website Drowned in Sound makes the big mistake!

More people than I expected went mentally crazy-bonkers for Leslie Feist’s latest album, The Reminder, but despite my best efforts to like it, it just sounded to me like the same song over and over.

It’s true! A few weeks ago you couldn’t get close to Feist’s new album without jumping into a raging waterfall of saliva pouring from the mouths of her eager fans. I’m only a thirty-second-snippet listener of The Reminder. What I heard was acceptable, but it won’t cure cancer.

I’ll repeat: Feist can’t cure cancer. That was a dangerous statement a few weeks ago—fans were just that blindly devoted, melting down copies of the album and ingesting them as a miracle remedy. Any suggestion that it was just good music was unacceptable.

Why do we need an “it-girl” in music, anyway? I understand the appeal of celebrity, but the amount of effort being put into this constellation of female musicianship (with Bjork at the center of the universe) is ever so slightly demeaning and really does take away from the music.

Now, of course, The Village Voice is trying to make us believe the new it-girl is M.I.A.. Pass.

Anyway, the Cult of Feist is still strong enough to arrive, claws-out, for a a battle in the comments:

ANGRY FAN: Are you really saying that “My Moon My Man”, “The Water”, and “Honey Honey” all sound the same?

MARWOOD: I wouldn’t know song titles. I listened to it three times and swapped it for Live It Out.

Yeah, Metric beats Feist! Why is it I have a problem with genuinely overdedicated fans, but not with blatantly manufactured Canadian indie rock chick rivalries? I suppose I just prefer violence to saliva.

Kylie X!

Posted in Dance,Downloads,Kylie Minogue,Minogue by M on July 25, 2007

Kylie Minogue on the cover of the Kylie X bootleg.

Get yourself to your favorite illegal download site, stat! Because Kylie Minogue has some astounding new tracks!

The bootleg leak calls itself Kylie X, and is filled with possibly forthcoming material from the celebrated pop star. I’m one of the few people who thought Body Language was Kylie’s strongest album, no matter how distant and pop-single-unfriendly it seemed at the time. Every track was lush, wonderful, and knew its musical history, all while diving deeper into the waters of electronic pop.

Kylie X—which combines an EP’s worth of new music with live tracks and remixes—showcases a post-cancer Kylie that has taken all of her Body Language lessons to heart, turning up the volume and impact on all of them. I was impressed with every track. The movement in every song is perfectly crafted; Minogue is accurate to the second in knowing when to hold back and when to release a full force of pop energy!

This was a very welcome leak, and it guarantees great things in the future from Ms. Minogue. I will eagerly await the future full length.

The Decemberists Love Their Strings

Posted in Rock,The Decemberists by M on July 20, 2007

As part of my mandatory indie rock education, I went on a Decemberists downloading spree!

Most of my selections were live tracks. And while I didn’t expect the band to appeal to me, I was having trouble figuring out how the band could appeal to anyone. The Decemberists barely seemed to be a band at all. Nearly every track featured lead singer Colin Meloy belting his preposterous lyrics over top of the Braveheart soundtrack—it was nothing but orchestra!

Colin Meloy of the Decemberists and Mel Gibson in Braveheart

Luckily I’m not the only one who identified The James Horner Band as a concern. Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune writes a spot-on assessment of their live performance:

The Decemberists have gradually recognized over four albums that they’re not just a precocious little vehicle for Meloy’s cleverly constructed songs, but a rock band. Yet when the orchestra roared, bassist Nate Query, guitarist Chris Funk and keyboardist Jenny Conlee were swallowed up by the wall of sound, and it essentially became the Meloy-with-strings show. Only drummer John Moen was able to make his presence felt.

This would be forgivable if the orchestra was any good. Instead the arrangements are derivative from film scores, and even the few curveballs thrown into the orchestration come across more like John Barry’s James Bond stings. To match that The Decemberists would need to add a steel guitar riff.

My live cut of “The Perfect Crime #2” gave the orchestra a break, allowing the band to show some playfulness and a little bit of rhythm. There’s a pulse there! The Decemberists should check it more often.

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Hey Now Hey Now!

Posted in Crowded House,Rage Against The Machine,Rock by M on July 18, 2007

The video for Don't Stop Now by Crowded House

Who’da thunk Crowded House would get a better comeback reception on YouTube than at Coachella?

Seriously! We all know how bad YouTube commenters can be. The good vibes they’re putting out for a gentle single (“Don’t Stop Now”) from a defrosted 80s band is downright heartwarming. Good job, Internet!

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Rilo Horny

Posted in Rilo Kiley,Rock,The Cribs by M on July 12, 2007

The Cribs have emerged as one of the less annoying examples of sibling rock with their single “Men’s Needs”. It’s a fun little song, but most of the attention they’ve gotten in the past few weeks is for the fully nude woman in their video.

The freely available video pretends to some modesty. Meanwhile their record label peddles the uncensored version as a paid download—they’re treating their music like it is pornography.

So for their new song, how can veteran rock darlings Rilo Kiley top that? Fill their video with actual porn stars.

Two porn stars in an embrace from Rilo Kiley's The Moneymaker

Unlike the crybaby commenters at Brooklyn Vegan, I’m not so worried about what “The Moneymaker” portends for Jenny and the boys. Sure, the song has none of the warmth we know Rilo Kiley has in their repertoire, but it’s hardly as cold or monotonous as it’s made out to be.

You want to know what is monotonous? Banal, life-story interviews with porn stars that last longer than the song itself. They aren’t interesting. They aren’t attractive. They’re not naked, either. We see more skin from the considerably more luscious Jenny Lewis, and that’s really just because of a slightly higher hemline.

Jenny Lewis in Rilo Kiley's The Moneymaker

Boys, you’ve already got a beautiful woman in your videos; you don’t need to resort to Lebowski-esque porn parody. At least you didn’t go the full route of erotic desperation and change your name to The Hooters

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A Decade of Steely Thom

Posted in Radiohead,Rock by M on July 11, 2007

Radiohead - OK Computer

It’s the tenth anniversary of Radiohead‘s OK Computer, the album that brought sonic weirdness to the MTV audience. That’s right, it’s been ten years since Thom Yorke first called out for the assistance of the Karma Police—and he hasn’t stopped wailing since!

To celebrate this diamond anniversary, hip music sites are celebrating! Hypeful has collected their favorite covers of the album’s songs and created their own OK Computer tribute. Stereogum has taken this a step further, releasing a full-fledged tribute album called OKX. Stereogum’s collection is just a little bit better for one reason: it doesn’t have Howie Day.

And what if you don’t like Radiohead or an assortment of upstarts butchering their venerable work? Just count your blessings; it’s the tenth anniversary of another album, too….

Limp Bizkit - Three Dollar Bill Y'all

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