Concert Announcements: Sebadoh, The Decemberists,
Cold War Kids & more...

I've been seriously neglecting the blog recently (although I'm finishing up my Favorite Albums of 2010 list and should have it up in the next few weeks). There usually isn't a whole lot of new music coming out and the concert season is usually a little slower as well around the Holidays. In fact, the only new record I've been playing endlessly is the new Kanye West album, which is fantastic....top 5 of the year type shit, but you've probably already read about it elsewhere... or everywhere by now. Things are looking up as there have been enough decent show announcements recently to warrant a full post.

Here's the list:

Fri 12/31 Murder By Death/Mansion/Baiowolf @ The Granada, Lawrence
Mon 02/07 The Decemberists/Mountain Man @ The Uptown, KC
Fri 02/18 Sebadoh/Quasi @ The Record Bar, KC
Fri 03/04 Tapes N Tapes @ The Jackpot, Lawrence
Wed 03/09 Cold War Kids @ The Granada, Lawrence

All highly recommended shows, I also would like to highlight the fact that Sebadoh will be playing their fantastic album Bakesale in it's entirety on tour. Don't miss it!



New Music: Cee Lo Green - The Lady Killer

Ever since my sophomore year in high school when I first heard Thomas Callahan (aka Cee Lo Green) on the track 'Git Up, Git Out' off Outkast's debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, I've been hooked. I hadn't heard a rapper with such a unique and soulful voice and it was especially surprising to find it came out of a then 20 year old. As well known as Cee Lo is nowadays for his work with Gnarls Barkley and now a solo career, there are still a large population of his fans that might not know about his impressive rap credentials. Goodie Mob have two certified classic hip-hop albums with Soul Food and Still Standing and Cee Lo was by far the most talented member of that group. Although Cee Lo's first two solo albums tend to blend hip-hop and r&b quite nicely, it appears as he's abandoned rapping altogether for mostly soul music on The Lady Killer.

You've all certainly heard the first single off the album, 'Fuck You', a hundred times on the radio by now. As good as that song is there are a handful of songs on the new album that are way better than the already overplayed first single. The second single off the album is 'Bright Lights, Big City' which is the song mostly likely to get played in a club near you. To be honest, this album is really full of catchy, well written and beautifully sung tunes. Other highlights include my personal favorite song on the album 'Wildflowers' and 'Old Fashioned' which would sound nice on a mix next to Otis and Marvin*. The curve ball on the album is the cover of Band of Horses tune 'No One's Gonna Love You', which although I wasn't sure about it at first I'm really digging it now. Below is the video for the cover tune, the video is NSFW but it's one of the best videos I've seen in a while. It's always amazing when a director can tell a story like they tell in this video with almost zero dialog in under five minutes. Thoroughly impressive.


*I am in no way comparing Cee Lo to Otis Redding or Marvin Gaye, just thought the song wouldn't sound out of place next to theirs.


Video: Sage Francis - 'The Best Of Times'

I haven't been keeping up with Sage Francis recently like I did a few years back. I don't think it's due to his music falling off, because what I've heard has been great, but my tastes have changed and haven't sought out as much independent hip-hop as I use to. That's too bad because I'm probably missing out on some great stuff and that's something I'll have to remedy.

Luckily, I didn't miss out on this fantastic song off Sage's most recent album Li(f)e, which is an effort where each song is a collaboration with a different artist. The impressive collabo list includes members of Grandaddy, Death Cab For Cutie, Calexico and DeVotchKa. The video below however is a collaboration with Yann Tiersen who is most famous for composing the music for the move Amelie.

I can't remember a hip-hop song in recent memory that has stirred up this much nostalgia and emotion in me. It's definitely worth a listen. Check out the video for 'The Best Of Times' below...