‘I Wanna Rock’ was one of the most inherently old school sounding cuts on Snoop Dogg’s most recent album. Featuring a beat produced by Snoop’s long time cohort Dr. Dre; ‘I Wanna Rock’ delivered a menacing funk that immediately recalled his mid nineties golden period. With a much rawer sound than some of Snoop’s more recent chart topping work, for many hip hop fans the track showed the Dogfather back on top form.
For the new G Mix of the track, Snoop has roped Jay-Z to co-star on the record – one of the few rap artists who has as big a reputation as Snoop Dogg himself. Predictably, the combination of Jay-Z, Snoop and Dr. Dre is proving like catnip to hip hop fans. Urgent, gritty and bass heavy; the G-mix of ‘I Wanna Rock’ has a classic sound that’s totally undeniable.
Ever the self publicist, the video for ‘I Wanna Rock’ features prominent shots of Snoop’s new Skullcandy headphone range. It also features shots of West Coast dance crew The Rangers; a group that has managed to merge skinny jeans and body popping into a whole new hip-hop sub-genre called Jerkin’.
Fun are an awesome new 3 piece surf-america style band from the US of A. Following a recent spate of dates in the UK, Shazam caught up with band member Andrew Dost for a bit of a chat.
Hi, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. So where are you guys from originally?
We’re all from the US, but kind of scattered. Nate’s from Phoenix, Arizona. Jack is from New Jersey. I’m from northern Michigan.
How long have you been together as a band and how long have you known each other?
We’ve been a band for a little over 2 years now. Seems really strange to say that, it doesn’t feel that long. We’ve known each other for a few years before that. Jack and Nate have toured together for maybe 7 years. I entered the picture about 4 or 5 years ago.
What inspired you guys to start the band?
I had been out of my old band for about a year. I was working on music, but everything was pretty aimless. I didn’t know if I wanted to continue or get a more conventional job. Nate called around this time to tell me his band had disintegrated and also to ask if I’d like to start a new project with him and Jack. The possibility of working with these guys was really exciting. I had, and still have, a tremendous amount of respect for them. So we met in New York soon thereafter and started writing, hanging out, and generaly having a great time. We made about 6 or 7 demos during this time also. I guess the real inspiration to form the band came when I went on tour with Nate’s band. We spent a night hanging out, eating sandwiches, watching (American) football, and working on a song. We realized we worked well together, had a lot of the same ideas and that also we each have a few things the other might be lacking. It was a great balance and still is. Jack also fits into that puzzle nicely; he brings a third set of gifts that still overlap in the right ways with ours.
Awesome, who influences you as a band?
We listen to all kinds of things, but fortunately there are a lot of bands we can all agree on. I’d say the biggest ones are The Beatles, ELO, Queen & Weezer.
What bands are you listening to at the moment?
Lately I’ve been listening to the new MGMT record a lot. I also love Vampire Weekend and also Rostam Batmanglij’s other project, Discovery. Noah and the Whale is a favorite as well.
What’s the dream for the band? Where do you want to be in say 5 years time?
A television series about us would be nice. Like a cartoon. It’d be like ‘The Monkees’ but a cartoon. We’d have superpowers and be a band, but would also have a rival band with evil powers.
Really though, we just want to keep making music we’re proud of that our fans enjoy. I’d also like to be scoring films. More than anything else I just want us to be happy.
‘Aim & Ignite’ is the title of Fun’s forthcoming album. Click here for a free download of the single ’At Least I’m Not As Sad (As I Used To Be)’
We’re big fans of Prins Thomas at Shazam. His unique brand of blissed out Scandinavian disco often receives heavy rotation on the office stereo and routinely soundtracks Monday mornings. Through a bizarre and complicated set of company in-jokes, Prins’ name even became a by-word for a coffee amongst Shazam’s Music Team.
It’s with some pleasure then, that we can tell you Prins Thomas’ debut self-titled album is a winner. Those familiar with Thomas’ vast back catalogue will know what to expect. Psychedelically burbling synthesisers wash up against Balearic flavoured guitar lines and live drums to create a warm bath of melodic funk that’s neither too urgent nor too ambient.
One of the album’s highlights is ‘Uggebugg’; an off kilter percussion driven delight that somehow manages to contain shades of both Larry Levan’s disco mixes and Chris Rea’s ‘Josephine’.
Prins Thomas ‘Prins Thomas’ is out now.
5. “Wendy Not Walter”
For listen and purchase from iTunes click here
Ending their year-long 10th anniversary celebrations in style, All Tomorrow’s Parties has just announced that Belle And Sebastian will be back at Butlins Holiday Centre in Minehead for ‘Bowlie 2′. The festival will be held on 10th-12th December 2010 and is the follow up to ‘Bowlie’ – ATP’s first ever festival that was curated by Belle And Sebastian way back in 1999. Highlights of the original ‘Bowlie’ weekender included unforgettable performances by Sleater-Kinney; Mercury Rev; Mogwai; Godspeed! You Black Emperor; The Delgados; Jon Spencer Blues Explosion plus Belle And Sebastian themselves.
Tickets go on sale today and the first batch of confirmed names are:
BELLE AND SEBASTIAN
THOSE DANCING DAYS
For More details go to http://www.atpfestival.com/
A couple of weeks ago The National offered a first glimpse of their new album ‘High Violet’ by performing a new song live on on US TV show, ‘Fallon’. Now the band has announced the first single to be taken from the forthcoming album will be ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’. What’s more, the National are offering the track as a free download here.
‘High Violet’ will be The National’s fifth studio album; the follow-up to the critically acclaimed ‘Boxer’. It comes surrounded by high expectations that the band will join other current alternative greats such as Grizzly Bear and Animal Collective on the path to mainstream success.
‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’ is due for release on 7″ vinyl and digital download on May 3. The album, ‘High Violet’ will be available a week later via 4AD.
London indie-pop outfit Scouting For Girls were one of the biggest success stories of 2008. Their chirpy blend of pop and rock saw them release a string of hit singles, and their eponymous debut album reached platinum status in the UK. The band are well known for strongly dividing opinions amongst music fans, attracting as many critics as they do plaudits. However, this hasn’t held the three-piece back as they continue to perform sell out tours to their legions of die hard supporters. Whatever your take on the band, there’s no denying songs like ‘Elvis Ain’t Dead’ and ‘She’s So Lovely’ quickly become ingrained in the mind; whether you liked it or not.
The band are now set to return with their new album, ‘Everybody Wants To Be On TV’. This will be preceded by the first single, ‘This Ain’t A Love Song’, which is currently number one on iTunes UK. We caught up with the guys to discuss the new album, their recent visit to the set of British soap-opera, Emmerdale, and why some of their new tracks are inspiring bouts of streaking at their gigs.
As part of a huge European tour, taking in 39 dates, Ohio lo-fi rockers Times New Viking played a typically rambunctious and feedback drenched set at The Dome. However, unlike its O2 endorsed namesake Tufnell Park’s Dome is a more modest setting – and one that was far more suited to tonight’s line up. Arriving just in time, we caught the start of Cold Pumas’ set of spiky, blissed-out rock. Repeated guitar lines intertwined with metronomic rhythms and hushed vocals creating what can only be described as a glorious racket.
Times New Viking arrive on stage with little fanfare, but soon make their mark on the bourgeoning crowd. With a set that heavily borrowed from last year’s ‘Born Again Revisted’, tracks like ‘No Time, No Hope’ resonated well within the halls rickety walls. Initially the crowd seemed timid, although this was largely due to early sound issues. Several times drummer Adam Elliott’s stage banter translated into inaudible muffles, this was however a small blip on the set. With vocal duties shared between Elliott’s heavy rasp and keyboardist Beth Murphy’s softer delivery, Times New Viking offer juxtaposing melodies underneath the relentless feedback of Jared Phillips on guitar.
The casual nature of Times New Viking has always been part of the appeal of their recordings and it translates perfectly into their live performances. The band casually shared drinks between songs before eventually, and unassumingly, sloping off into the appreciative crowd.
MGMT’s new album, ‘Congratulations’, is undoubtedly one of the most eagerly anticipated records of 2010 and one of the biggest predicted sellers of the year. However, any forecasts about the success of the album have failed to deter the New York band from streaming the whole thing from their website – a move that could arguably eat into record sales.
The decision to stream the album came after material was leaked via peer to peer sites. As MGMT say themselves, the group actually wanted to go one step further than streaming their new work :
“Hey everybody, the album leaked, and we wanted you to be able to hear it from us. We wanted to offer it as a free download but that didn’t make sense to anyone but us.”
‘Congratulations’ will be released April 12th and is available to purchase from iTunes.