Just as it's not Christmas without It's A Wonderful Life, it's not Halloween without a Ghostbusters El Train dance.
Just a reminder that today is your last day to go out and vote early in Cook County, and if you don't make it out for an early session, RFC is bound by music blogging law to remind you to "Rock The Vote" on Tuesday.
ALSO, a personal reminder to rock the vote with smarts. Don't forget to research all of the other races on your ballot. The Trib and WBBM both have links to a great resource guide that lets you evaluate all the candidates for your specific ballot.
And you know that damn judge retention section at the end? It's huge and it sucks, but this is the part to really pay attention to. If you remember one thing before going out to the polls, write these names down: Edward Pietrucha, Vanessa Hopkins, Evelyn Clay and Casandra Lewis. Ignore all the others and just make sure to vote 'NO' to get these assholes off the bench.
Freestyle vs. Written is a collaboration between freestyle master C-Rayz Walz and "yeshiva-trained wordsmith" Kosha Dillz. The album's namesake comes from the idea that Kosha would come to the table with his written rhymes and Walz brought nothing but his on the fly freestyle skills. Not only is the premise of the album something in itself but the album was recorded in 24 hours by 19-year-old Kentron Da Mastadon. So has this piqued your interest yet? This album plays some fresh beats and slick rhymes.
The title track tells it like it is, that is the story of how the LP came to fruition. "Got a genius idea. It ain't this or that no Hava Nagila." This the L.L. Cool J-esque "I Love Jews" and "The Foolish Path" are all highlight tracks for me. But let it be known there are some heavy moments on this album, just give "March to the Death" a listen.
Reading interviews with these two guys, you can tell that they didn't really have anything in common, in fact they've butted heads a few times. But that's honest and that honesty makes this album much more meaningful than your run o' the mill hip hop album. Despite their differences they came up with something different and put it out there. Freesytle vs. Written is a fresh and unique album worth taking note of, serving as an allegory, overcoming racial and religious boundaries with the added bonuses of clever rhymes and fresh beats.
/// At their show in Rome a couple of days ago Built To Spill covered M.I.A.'s song "Paper Planes." The rendition is really quite good, in fact I prefer it to M.I.A.'s version (but I'm not a huge fan of her work so I'm biased). In the end though it really just made me want to listen to "Straight to Hell."
/// Chicago natives Fall Out Boy are attempting to set a world record for the greatest number of radio interviews done by a pair of two in the span of 24 hours. Um... Ok. If that's how you want to solidify your relevance in modern pop culture by all means...
/// Gorillaz conspirators Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett have released today a short vidoe for the song "Monkey Bee", which hails from their album "Monkey: Journey to the West." This is the first time the pair have worked together on an actual film, with actors rather than the cartoon. The song itself is pretty good.
It’s funny (not “ha-ha” funny, of course) that this anniversary completely passed me by. I was a subscriber and supporter of the magazine for years, and was heartbroken when it stopped publishing. But I thought I’d personally feel its loss a little more.
Superstar DJ, Mad Decent label mastermind, and MIA's producer/ex-boyfriend Diplo headlines the Abbey Pub tomorrow night. He's touring with Abe Vigoda (the band, not the star of stage and screen who looks alarmingly half-dead in his Conan appearances), England's Boy 8-Bit, and Brooklyn girl duo Telepathe. The Abbey seems like an odd venue for this lineup to me, but the space is intimate and the beer is cheap so I'll take it.
Diplo is, in my opinion, the best dance music producer working today and easily one of the best hip hop producers as well. The "Paper Planes" beat he made for MIA's "Kala" has by now been given the remix seal-of-approval by basically every rapper ever, including Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Rich Boy, Fitty, etc. and I've really never met a Diplo track or remix that I didn't like. That said, his DJ sets are by many accounts wildly uneven (always technically flawless but at times lazy and by-the-numbers with lagging energy in the back half) which is a possibly unavoidable side effect of spreading oneself too thin. I'll be in attendance and will follow up with my verdict, but for now here's a newish Diplo-produced track from MIA and her protege Rye Rye plus two more.
For those of you who have not had the chance to attend a concert at Epiphany Church yet, RFC's own Garin Pirnia has written an article for Time Out Chicago offering a little insight to the church turned concert venue. I will then shamelessly use that article as an excuse to post some long overdue photos from the inaugural show with Low from last month. If you missed that show, well then unfortunately you missed the best show that will occur at this venue until the next time Low is in town, but that is no reason not to attend another show because the venue really is quite beautiful. Read Garin's article here, click over to the jump for more pics.
/// Eels will release a special DELUXE NUMBERED & SIGNED 4 LP EDITION of the 2005 album Blinking Lights and Other Revelations. There will only be 2500 available for purchase. In anticipation of this Eels are offering up a free live song EP if you visit this site. This live EP was recorded in 2005 at a show in Manchester and is features the songs "Fresh Feeling," "Packing Blankets," "Jeannie's Diary" and "Climbing to the Moon." It's only available until October 28 when the EP is released so get it while the gettin is good.
/// "It's the J-U-R-A double S I-C." Jurassic 5 are set to re-release their 1997 debut album which has been out of print since 2004 due to contractual disputes. The deluxe re-release will not only feature the Jurassic 5 EP but an additional disc featuring 15 unreleased songs and a DVD with ne'er before seen footage from their first world tour. The album will be released on Decon Records November 11.
/// Barsuk Records is releasing a limited-edition, numbered, career-spanning box containing all five Nada Surf studio albums on vinyl, exclusive repressing of the first 7" single, and full-color 24-page lyric, photo book and codes to download all the albums on MP3 PLUS a collection of rare and out-of-print bonus tracks and b-sides. You can pre-order that ish now, it ships in late November around the timeNada Surf plays Metro (Saturday, November 29).
It's not often that I can off the top of my head name my top five albums of a year. For someone who listens to music as much as I (or even you) do that's a task, even a tasking task. Department of Eagles' album In Ear Park is one of those albums that has landed in my top five. Now you may be thinking "Aubrey, you interviewed DoE, aren't you sort of biased? Are you not a fan of this band already?" Come off it (yes I am biased, but I know crap when I hear it too. At least my ears do)! That's like me asking a fan of say, any band that has released a second, third or any number album what they think of the most recent album. Yes, there will be a degree of bias. And also yes there will be a degree of expectation. I've been vulturing this band for something like five years, seeing if they would release something new. Every year DISAPPOINTED until recently.