Aaron Lee Tasjan – Karma for Cheap

alt_karma_for_cheap_900_sq-722c041182ba949df6067759cce2c9624b4b1456-s800-c85Aaron Lee Tasjan circulates in the Americana scene where far too many acts come across like they’re doing their best Waylon or Haggard impersonation–or Ryan Adams (or all three). A genre that gets much of its appeal by looking back to a time before the digital innovations of today took away some perceived purity in previous music.

Of course, the Americana music is not unique in creating a genre out of nostalgia. Not even close. In fact, in many ways, Americana itself has roots in the Alt-Country acts of the mid-to-late 1990s. There was also the garage revival acts of the 2000s. The 1980s are being mined by seemingly everyone these days. Disco has also been reinvented. The grunge movement of the 1990s was obsessed with the hard rock acts of the 1970s. The punks of the 1970s thought their prog-rock peers were missing the point. Continue reading “Aaron Lee Tasjan – Karma for Cheap”

Richard Reed Parry – Quiet River of Dust, Vol. 1

116550-quiet-river-of-dust-vol-1Richard Reed Parry is an extraordinarily gifted musician. His main gig is with Arcade Fire, but he has collaborated with a who’s who of indie acts of the last decade: The National, Sufjan Stevens, The Unicorns, and Islands. On this release, he invited Peter Gabriel, members of Yes, Jim O’Rourke, and The Flaming Lips. I like all of these groups, so I was very interested in what this album would have to offer.

Quiet River of Dust, Vol. 1 doesn’t disappoint, not even close. The results of the collaboration is a complex, atmospheric soundscape with enough melody to tie it into something not quite ambient, not quite pop (indie or otherwise). This is a bold release designed mostly for listeners who have heard it all.  Continue reading “Richard Reed Parry – Quiet River of Dust, Vol. 1”

Eli “Paperboy” Reed feat. Big Daddy Kane

Today on Twitter, Eli “Paperboy” Reed, released the official video for his track “Ninety Nine Cent Dreams,” which he mentioned features Big Daddy Kane. When I saw his Tweet, the potential genre-blurring caught my attention. Reed is known for his soul influences. Big Daddy Kane has been representing the East Coast rap scene since the late 1980s. What would a collaboration from these two sound like?

Now certainly, this is not the first time soul and rap have crossed paths, but this song isn’t the typical slow jam, mid-album filler that Kanye West (with Twista and Jamie Foxx) parody on The College Dropout. Reed has written a perfect, nostalgic summertime tune. The video features kids taking a break from playing the original 8-bit Nintendo to gather coins for the ice cream truck (spoiler: Big Daddy Kane is the ice cream man).  Continue reading “Eli “Paperboy” Reed feat. Big Daddy Kane”