Monday, November 23, 2009

Lykke Li :: Will you still love me tomorrow (music video and mp3)

Lykke Li is one of those you can't help but be drawn to. Her voice is captivating - I think it has something to do with the European accent she sings with? She is promoting her new single and giving it away. Check out her site for the very special music video and track. The track almost sounds like it was recorded a long long time ago. She accompanies her voice with only the backing of a stunningly proportioned piano sound.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Hey! Don't forget the party of 2k9 tonight. If you're missing it, you're missing out.
Click the image for more details.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bon Iver :: Re: Stacks (Tomas Barfod Remix)

Every other person on twitter has been talking about what they've been doing (studying mostly) whilst listening to Bon Iver. And I can't say I blame them. His melancholic, folky music is quite special.

For those of you steeping yourself in the genius that is Bon Iver, try this remix on for size:

Bon Iver :: Re: Stacks (Tomas Barfod Remix) | zSHARE

The very deliberately sluggish way it builds is very appealing and seductive in nature.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Shadow Puppets, Katy Perry, Lily Allen and Dr Fox's Old Timey String Band attempt Covers

I came across a number of wicked cool covers. There is something special about a cover by an artist you appreciate, especially if the cover is of a song you couldn't previously care for. Let's take S.O.S. from Rihanna for example. The Last Shadow Puppets did a rough cover of it, and now I think I kinda like the track.

S.O.S (Rihanna Cover) - The Last Shadow Puppets | zSHARE

Lily Allen and Kate Nash have a voices quite similar to one another, but unique in the greater music field. Lily Allen covers The Kook's Naive track. It's really great:

Naive (The Kooks Cover) - Lily Allen | zSHARE

Katy Perry took an interesting jab at Electric Feel by MGMT. I'm undecided.

Electric Feel (MGMT Cover) - Katy Perry | zSHARE

Dr Fox's Old Timey String Band did a sweet number on Kids (by MGMT).

Kids (MGMT) - Dr Fox's Old Timey String Band | zSHARE

Hot Chip - One Life Stand (new album)

Hot Chip are set to release their fourth album in February 2010, One Life Stand. I think it will be a winner, but then again, Hot Chip are not in the habit of disappointing.

One Life Stand tracklisting:
  1. "Thieves In The Night"
  2. "Hand Me Down Your Love"
  3. "I Feel Better"
  4. "One Life Stand"
  5. "Brothers"
  6. "Slush"
  7. "Alley Cats"
  8. "We Have Love"
  9. "Keep Quiet"
  10. "Take It In"
Have a listen to Take It In to get a taste:

Take It In - Hot Chip | zSHARE

Thursday, November 12, 2009

30 Seconds to Mars :: Kings & Queens (music video)

I am not really a huge fan of Jared Leto's work, but this is something special. @charnyewest posted this on his twitter:

30 seconds to softy? new 30 sec seems similar
to U2..complete with vague,
spiritual lyrics...hmm...
christian buy in?

I'm still unsure of what to make of it?

W.A.L.E.D.A.N.C.E. :: Wale ft. Justice

Justice are one of my favourite electro duo-artists. Hip-Hop is arguably my worst genre. Great start to a post, right? Well, the collaboration of one of my favourite genres with one of my worst has resulted in something rather tasteful, if a healthy blend of electro and rap can be rendered tasteful. Wale, an artist I have been unfamiliar with until now has mixed Justice's D.A.N.C.E. and rapped over it. If you can look past the swearing and typical hip-hop genre content, you might enjoy the song. Watch his video below. If you've seen the original D.A.N.C.E. Video, you will appreciate the similarity.

W.A.L.E.D.A.N.C.E. :: Wale ft. Justice | zSHARE

Muse :: Undisclosed Desires (Thin White Duke Remix)

Muse's album, The Resistance, has been hit with mixed reviews ranging from great to worse than Black Holes And Revelations. I would be faster to agree with the first opinion. That said, as I commented on a previous review I read, it is certainly no Absolution, but I am appreciating the experimental journey on which it seems Bellamy is taking the band.

Here is a remix I stumbled across of Undisclosed Desires off The Resistance. It gives the track more of a head bobbing feel than the original. Purists may be offended:

Muse :: Undisclosed Desires (Thin White Duke Remix) | zSHARE

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa :: Hot Chip & Peter Gabriel

Yip, Peter Gabriel from Genesis. He recorded with Hot Chip on this Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa cover. I'd be pretty honoured if I was a member of Vampire Weekend. This is not Pete's first exposure to 'African' music however. He covered Shosholoza for The Gods Must Be Crazy when I was a kid. This cover is really special for anyone with the sense enough to enjoy VW. Listen out for the yelping puppy.

Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa (Vampire Weekend Cover) :: Hot Chip & Peter Gabriel | zSHARE

Bonus mp3 (without Fabio Pop's Dancefloor Rework):

Psychic City (Classixx Remix) :: Yacht | zSHARE

Phoenix :: 1901 Bo Flex'd (Passion Pit Remix)

Just when you think something has been remixed to death and nothing unique or good can come from ANOTHER remix, Passion Pit smacks us with a pearl.

1901 Bo Flex'd (Passion Pit Remix) :: Phoenix | zSHARE

Bonus mp3 (without Fabio Pop's Dancefloor Rework):

Psychic City (Classixx Remix) :: Yacht | zSHARE

Grizzly Bear - Ready Able (music video)

If you haven't yet seen GB's video, Ready Able, you must.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Last Year, the rain poured, the cars slid and the cold reached my bones. But I got there. Where? astore and we-are-awesome threw what they called, A is for Awesome, a party for Cape Town's scenesters. Even though the weather placed something of a dampener on proceedings, the place was packed out. Check out pics from last year's event - a is for awesome.

This year, things have escalated somewhat.
ADIDAS ObyO are on board to ensure a wicked cool African beat fest.

The lineup includes:

- Gazelle (Live)

- Desmond and the Tutu's (DJ Set - Shane Durrant)

- Haasbroek

- We-Are-Awesome DJ's (Andrew and Sean)

- Radio Elite

Party of 2k9? I don't know, but I reckon it's going to be pretty epic by Cape Town's standards.

When: 20 November 2009

Address: Tafelberg Tavern, 105 Hope Street, Cape Town

More info on Facebook.

Grizzly Bear are everywhere

Grizzly Bear are rising to Stardom. Deep Blue Sea featured on the prestigious Dark Was The Night compilation, Veckatimest has been one of 2009's greatest albums and their new video, Ready Able, is bizarre, but great - they use plasticine in motion to tell a story.

Their track featuring Victoria Legrand, Slow Life, is part of the New Moon Soundtrack, a compilation that even grown men are considering purchasing for the unsurpassed calibre of music. Plans are in place to send fourteen year old siblings into record stores to grab the Pattinson covered CD along with the promotional poster - don't forget the poster!

Slow Life (Feat. Victoria Legrand) :: Grizzly Bear | zShare

Bonus track:

Service Bell :: Grizzly Bear & Feist | zShare

Psychic City (Classixx Remix-Fabio Pop Dancefloor Rework) :: Yacht

By now, you may be aware that I have a new found love - Yacht. I am really getting into their music and am looking forward to seeing them in Aus at the end of the year.

Their track Psychic City has received something of a revamp, one that you anticipate and hope will continue a lot longer that it ends up doing. Nonetheless, this chilled melancholic track is very enjoyable.

Psychic City (Classixx Remix-Fabio Pop Dancefloor Rework) :: Yacht | zShare

Electro Monday - KiD CuDi ft. MGMT & Ratatat

The plan over a weekend is always to catch up on sleep and what-not in time to have awesome energy levels come Monday morning to ensure a GIANT elevation in productivity. This invariably never happens and caffeine is systematically pumped into the bloodstream at intervals throughout the day to maintain consciousness, much like our smoking counterparts who are the first to alert you to tea-time with the words, 'smoke break!' as they dash out the door to get their fix.

All this to say, that the addition of music to this system could be the difference between managing to get through the day and kicking proverbial ass in the office. Take a listen:

'Pursuit of Happiness' (Benny Benassi Remix) :: KiD CuDi ft. MGMT & Ratatat | zShare

Friday, November 6, 2009

Jay-Z, Alicia and GaGa

Jay-Z and Lady GaGa have been appearing on more and more respected sites across the known blogosphere. And so, in an attempt to not neglect my mainstream music lovers, check out these tracks from the two of them. Alicia even collaborated with Jay-Z for their mix. For my pretentious 'indie' readers, you might even like the Jay-Z one.

Empire State of Mind (feat. Alicia Keys) :: Jay-Z (zShare)

Bad Romance (Prod. by RedOne) :: Lady GaGa (zShare)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Members, #7: Andrew Mckellar

It's been a while since I updated The Members series I did. Andrew Mckellar, the guitarist from Civil Twilight, the best band by far to leave South Africa's shores was interviewed by Ultimate Guitar.
Civil Twilight: 'Success Is About Making Music We Are Proud Of'
With all the fanfare being spun around 2008’s Twilight movie, it is easy to presume that the melodic rock outfit Civil Twilight adopted their name from the movie, but in fact the rock trio originally from Cape Town, South Africa took their name from the aviation term for the time of night when only the brightest stars are visible. The band members, who consist of lead singer/bassist/pianist Steve McKeller, his brother and guitarist in the band Andrew McKeller, and their good friend Rich Wouters on drums, gravitated to each other due to their musical compatibility. Since 1996, they have been gradually been building momentum in commercial markets and establishing a steady fanbase whom they can count on for support.

Civil Twilight released their debut album Human in 2007. They were lucky enough to be picked up by a TV and Film placement company based in Los Angeles who placed a few of their songs in prominent television shows and major films. Wind-Up Records liked what they heard. They signed Civil Twilight and released the band’s self-titled sophomore release in March 2009. The band is presently on tour where guitarist Andrew McKeller was generous enough to answer some questions for

UG: What brought the members of Civil Twilight together?

Andrew McKeller: We all grew up in the same small town in South Africa and attended school together. Rich and I were in the same grade and one day decided to start jamming together. We later brought my younger brother Steve to practice and he eventually became the singer and bass player. I'm grateful for those early series of events. We would be no where if we didn't have Steve on board. I guess it's a small mystery why we are still together. We respect each-other, which helps and we have all shared a lot of challenging times. Moving to the States with nothing and having to survive, we all lived in a hot sweaty garage and shared a car for years. We even shared a cell-phone for almost a year. Through all that you learn another level of respect.

Who came up with the name of the band?

The name came from a list of aviation terms we had been looking through. We were a little inspired by the band name Wilco, also an aviation term. Out of all the names we were looking through, Civil Twilight seemed to stick out. Its definition is a certain time of twilight when only the brightest stars are visible. I don't think any of us really have a strong connection to the name. We just liked it and decided to use it.

"I guess it's a small mystery why we are still together."

Who were some of you musical influences while growing up?

Bands like Oasis, Silverchair, Reef etc. were mine and Steve’s first introduction to music that made me want to listen and hear more and ultimately made me want to play guitar. As a young teenager I related very quickly to the angst and attitude in the music. I couldn't give a shit what they were saying but I could feel the passion and I wanted to somehow create that. Music is a very emotional medium for me. The very fact that just the sound of a guitar can make you want to break something or make you cry is still incredible to me. Bands like Rage Against The Machine or more specifically Tom Morello or Jack White can create music that gives you a sense of power and invulnerability just from the notes they choose to play. Or someone like Jeff Buckley who can make you feel his desperation and sensitivity by what he plays. I think I've always been attracted to music that stirs me and the mystery of it.

What was it like growing up in Cape Town, South Africa?

Cape Town is a very beautiful place with a very diverse culture. White sandy beaches and mountains surround the city and we spent most of our time outside. As many people know, South Africa has had a very shameful history of segregation. We were lucky enough to have great parents who were against what was happening at the time. Our perspective growing up was that of equality and respect for all people. South Africa has an incredible mix of people, and therefore music, and we all grew an appreciation for that. South African bands like Johnny Clegg and Ladysmith Black Mambazo were great. And the jazz scene too had a very unique flavor which I still enjoy. Elements of all that can be heard on more commercial albums like Paul Simons [record] Graceland, which included some South African musicians. I have a great appreciation for different cultures and what they all bring to society.
I feel very privileged to have grown up there.

What was the impetus for making your first record Human? Where did those songs come from, and what made you feel ready to release them to the public?

Well, we recorded that album pretty quick and it was a reflection of what we felt at the time. We had been writing a lot and went into the studio and pretty much played everything live. Songs like “Human” were done completely live with no overdubs. Once it was all done we didn't really think there was much of an option but to release it. And at the time we were still unsigned and wanted something we could tour with and sell. We got the interest of a TV and film placement company in LA who got us placements on “House,” “Without A Trace” and the new “Terminator” series. And eventually the interest of Wind-Up Records who signed us in mid 2008.

How did the music industry respond to Human?

The only real avenue we had to sell the record was at shows, and we set up an online store where you could buy the record for $5 or download it for free if you wanted to. We just wanted to get our music our there and thought if it was available for free, people who didn't want to spend the $5 could just get it. We encouraged everyone to buy it if they liked it. As far as the industry goes, we had a few reviews online and in magazines but our biggest response has been from the TV/Film industry. They gave us a chance to be in front of a lot of people and we gained a few new fans from that.

How did you meet David Kosten and what was it like working with him on your self-titled recording released earlier in 2009?

David was great. We had such a relaxed, fun time working with him. He had some great ideas and pushed us a bit to think outside of the box. We were given a list of producers from Wind-Up and really liked what he was doing. The Bat For Lashes stuff was great as well as his own stuff under Faultline. So it was a no brainer when we had to choose. I hope we get to work with him again in the future.

"Its definition is a certain time of twilight when only the brightest stars are visible."

What was the inspiration for the song “Letters In The Sky”? How did this song evolve and when did the band know it sounded the way you wanted it to on the album?

This song was written in the studio. I remember hearing Steve playing a riff on the piano and I really liked it, so we all got into the live room and started playing with him. We jammed it out a couple times and it all came together pretty quick. There was a vibe there already and we just reinforced it. It's a love story about a man in a prison camp who is dreaming of being free and seeing his loved one again. We didn't think too hard about this, but the dynamics of the music seemed to fit perfectly with the story.

What elements do you look for in you songs? What do you listen for when you are developing the songs?

The process was very natural. We would jam for hours on end and listen back to elements we liked and construct songs from those. At the time there wasn't much of a conscience effort to have a theme or particular mood for the album. Once listening back to what we were working on we tried to make sure that the songs had an emotion to them. A song like “Human” was written by Steve while we were in South Africa visiting the family. When he played it to us in the studio one day we knew right away that we had to record it and put it on the album. It spoke to all of us and continues to speak to me.

UG: What is next for Civil Twilight?

That’s a good question. Well, we are touring right not and will continue to do that for a while. It has been very exciting traveling around America and playing. We are continuing to write new material and be inspired by what we hear and do. Trying to be a better band is one of the next steps, I guess. The music industry is a very different place these days, so we are always trying to think of new ways of making this band a success, whatever that means. But success for us, I think, is more about getting to do what we love, being creative and making music we are proud of.

[Original Source]

Click here for more on Civil Twilight.

Trash Yourself :: new remixes

Just before heading to Europe, John Bourke sent me a few tracks. There is a mixture of Bloody Beetroots type heavy electro, Jay-Z gangsta rap and some other stuff. Enjoy:

Straaatch - We Got (Trash Yourself Remix)

Fire for Effect - Sugar (Trash Yourself Remix)

Trash Yourself & The Toxic Avenger - Die (GTRONIC DubDub Remix)

Trash Yourself & The Toxic Avenger - Die (Lazy Ants Remix)

Trash Yourself & The Toxic Avenger - Die (The Bulgarian Death by Remix)

Trash Yourself - Forget It (DJ Loli This Kiss Remix)

How nice, no zShare folders. Simply right click, save link as... and voila.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thriller (Michael Jackson Cover) :: Imogen Heap

With all the Michael Jackson paraphernalia going down, it's a band wagon that cannot be ignored any longer. Imogen Heap is responsible for one of the greatest covers of any of the late MJ's work. I have been listening to her version of Thriller for the last few days, an I am convinced, she has be rewarded. But what reward can be greater than a post on Smack Talk you ask? It's a good question; I don't have an answer. Sorry. While I brainstorm, grab this track and listen you ears stukkend.

Thriller (Michael Jackson Cover) :: Imogen Heap

Bonus mp3. Thriller (Louis La Roche Remix) :: Michael Jackson (zShare)

Imogen Heap has a new album out. It's called Ellipse.