Beauty and the Best

Nov 2012

Nataly Dawn and Jack Conte = Pomplamoose

A few years back as I drove home from work in traffic on the 10 Freeway east (having already lost my race against sun) and a song popped into my mind along with a vision nearly lost in the faint landscape of childhood memories.  The vision was Disney’s The Aristocats and the song was My Favorite Things from the 1959 musical, The Sound of Music.  The vision and the song weren’t really related but it was a bread crumb that let me to inquiry.  Of course, the version of the song that came to mind was actually John Coltrane’s 13 minute version because the musical was a bit before my time.  I remember now, it was just after Halloween and that song’s imagery tends to conjure up thoughts of the holidays for most.  Anyway, not being able to get it out of my head, I gave in and did what people in our era do – I “voiced called” it up on YouTube with my iPhone playing through my car speakers.  That’s when I first discovered Pomplamoose’s version.  I didn’t immediately like it but there was something so charming about this rendition that I had to hear it a few more times.  The music was melodic and familiar, like the sights and sounds of Pomplamoose, the San Francisco Bay Area duo comprised of Nataly Dawn and Jack Conte.  For me, Pomplamoose are an example of what I love so much about this new era of giving pink slips to the gatekeepers of “cool.”  Real talent can be shared with the world via avenues such as YouTube without some A&R rep first giving it the nod of approval.  Pomplamoose sold over 100,000 songs to fans in 2009 after performing in 2008 and have continued to find success both together and with their solo careers.  They’ve worked with celebrity acts like Ben Folds and Barry Manillow (Dawn) as well as fellow YouTubers like Lauren O’Connell and Wade Johnston.  The latter collaboration between Conte and Johnston on Here is one of my favorites.  As Pomplamoose, Jack and Nataly create video performances of their songs for their online audience using only two rules: 1) What you see is what you hear. (No lip-syncing for instruments or voice and 2) If you hear it, at some point you see it. (No hidden sounds).  For something new and refreshing, give them a listen.

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"We Try" - Ivy

I’ve always liked Ivy. They make such catchy pop confections it’s hard to resist an Ivy tune, which is probably why their music has made its way into some of the most popular TV shows and movies out there. “We Try” is the un-released track as b-side on 'Lost In The Sun' single. I wasn’t especially fond of this Ivy album (there’s a first for everything), but I like this particular song a lot.

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"A Tribe Called Red - Electric Pow Wow Drum" Review

Since I don't know any good Thanksgiving songs, I'll instead be using this as an opportunity to celebrate our native brothers and sisters, without whom there would be no Thanksgiving or even America now as we know it. Native production team
A Tribe Called Red technically comes from one of those other countries with native North Americans, but this doesn't change the fact that the cultures which make up those from North American tradition have created some incredibly beautiful works, of which we should all take notice.

A Tribe Called Red often mixes traditional native music with modern synths and beats to make a blend of old and new that is unlike anything else out there. Some of their tunes would fit in perfectly with any dancehall, soca, dubstep or many other types of playlists you already know and love. I especially love the track included here (my neck almost hurts from how hard I've been whipping my head back and forth). So if you like this then there's more, and even better, it's free.

You can download "Electric Pow Wow Drum" and the rest of the album it's from
here on their website at absolutely no cost. Then, just maybe, you'll have a new favorite holiday album of your own that you'll be throwing on for years to come. However you celebrate though, have a happy Thanksgiving from everyone here at AllGoodThings.

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"Get Real - Back To Dust" Review

As November rolls along, the weather is getting darker and chillier for many of us across the country. So what would better complement that than some dark and chilled out music like Get People's new track "Back To Dust"?

It is a perfect example of what to play when the skies are so heavy outside your window that you can already feel the dampness in your bones. If you don't like gloomy days however then that's alright too. Get People has a member specifically dedicated to animation and visuals who's work shines through in the surreal, often kaleidoscope-like presentation found in this video.

It's comforting, it's relaxing and whatever your day is like wherever you are, "Back To Dust" will make it all the better when it's officially available on November 19th.

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Toro Y Moi - So Many Details Remix (feat. Hodgy Beats) Review

Always working around the clock to bring you the best and latest in entertainment information (even when there is an extra hour on that clock) we have a hot new remix by Toro Y Moi and Hodgy Beats for you. A remix called "So Many Details".

Did I say hot? Sorry, I meant "cool" because Toro is one of the leading producers in the 
chillwave movement, which is known for it's smooth synthetic beats. Equally smooth are the vocals performed by Hodgy which makes this the perfect track to throw on when the lights are dim and the company is close.

The remix has more of an R&B vibe to it over their other work or even the original. If that's your thing too, be sure to give "So Many Details" a listen and watch for its official release on January 22, 2013 as part of the album "Anything in Return". Two months may sound like long ways off but if you like this one as much as I have, then it's definitely something worth remembering.

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The Rival - "Run, Run"

Talk about a catchy, feel good song - it doesn’t get much better than “Run, Run.” These guys are experienced studio musicians who have been behind the scenes on songs featured on popular shows like Grey’s Anatomy, One Tree Hill, and Pretty Little Liars and it shows. I hear hints of U2, Big Country and many other alt-rock groups from my youth.

They recently caught a big break when Apple featured their song during their October 23rd Keynote during a segment devoted to the iPhone launch. It’s a nicely done section and I’m sure I’m not the only one who hurried to the net to find out who did the song. The interesting thing is that usually companies take the best snippets of songs like this and then when you actually hear the whole track, it doesn’t equal the sum of its parts. Not so in this case. There is particularly catchy bridge at the 2:47 mark.

Anyway, check this one out. It is definitely worth the download.

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"MHz Legacy - Yellow + Blue" Review


Def Jux, you're back! Maybe you never left but it's been years so I'm happy to hear good music still coming out of your ranks, even if it is now from Man Bites Dog Records.

MHz Legacy has reunited to release a new self-titled album with Def Jux alumni such as
RJD2, Slug and Oh No. It's quite the pedigree and their first released single "Yellow + Blue" lives up to what you'd expect from some of the realest artists currently in the hip hop game.

It has a very chilled, downbeat feel from Surock's production and also brings in west-coast MC, Blu to feature the lyrical talent which has gotten him attention as one of the best up &.comers of the past five years. The album or any of its tracks are available for purchase 
here but first get your taste of what's to come by streaming "Yellow + Blue" via Hypetrak right here

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P.O.S. – We Don’t Even Live Here! (Deluxe Edition)


I discovered P.O.S. through my favorite Minnesota underground hip hop act, Atmosphere, who headline the Rhymesayers Entertainment slate.  P.O.S. really represents one of the coolest things about being a non-conformist.  He’s totally and unabashedly out of left field.  He actually reminds me of who Pharrell may actually be in a parallel universe. Before I get into this review, to get the best understanding of who P.O.S. is consider listening to the track Out of Category from his previous offering, Never Better where P.O.S. spits some honest lyrics about who he is and how he got there.   With his latest, We Don’t Even Live Here, P.O.S. is completely in his zone as a pure punk-hip hop artist.  The first track Bumper is a great opener for what’s to follow.  It’s pumping bass drum and modulated synth riff get you banging you head off the bat. 

Throughout P.O.S. flows with such intent that if he had any insecurity about his standing as an emcee you could never tell. He doesn’t. I haven’t heard such passion since Public Enemy though here it’s much less specific to the African American experience and more to the human condition. And even though his lyrics are generally serious and cover social/political issues, he manages to have fun with it (note his recurring chuckles). Fuck Your Stuff is the anthem for anti-materialism and ironically is the closet thing to commercial you’ll find here with its use of the old school tr-808 classic snare. The production on How We Land is top notch as Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon provides his signature melodic, enhanced vocals blending smoothly with Stef’s own clean vocals. One of my

favorite tracks is Wanted/Wasted summed up with the line “I’m the best in the world – at kickin’ it and working on some future shit” as American’s tight grip on where it used to stand as a world power. The pop-like piano and haunting string section that closes out the tune after Astronautalis drops his effortless verse makes you want to press repeat upon first listen. Then there’s Lock-Pick, Knives, Bricks and Bats which commands your attention without a beat as Stef describes the stance of his crew and how if you frunt they will be ready for you. Then he reminds you of what fuels his “fuck-off” attitude – “I was raised in the Midwest where they hate with a grin.” I happened to purchase the Deluxe version so I was privy to the addition of two tracks not available on the basic version. One of the tracks, Oh, Ouch, features Busdriver, son of Hollywood writer/exec Ralph Farquar, who comes with some of the smoothest almost off beat lyrics I’ve heard since some of Saafir’s older work.

As a musician P.O.S. exists between worlds in a sense because despite his talent as an MC, very few mainstream hip hop heads may ever give him a listen due to the punk overtones and the alternative fans may dismiss him because he’s a black rapper in a very different way than the visually bi-racial Slug. Nonetheless, P.O.S. has more than earned his place among some of the genre’s best MC’s despite his lack of airplay. He offers something new, honest and uncompromising. Either you can Get Down with him or you can’t but if you’re more mainstream, I’d suggest doing a YouTube search for his track Optimism for a way of taking some honey with your first dose of P.O.S. We Don’t Even Live Here is the product of a continually advancing rhyme style and elevated consciousness that puts and keeps P.O.S. truly out of category.

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