Re-Introducing: HOLY GHOST!

Re-Introducing: HOLY GHOST! {0}

Holy Ghost! is one of the best things happening in music right now.

It’s been over 3 years since my ears first experienced the joyful sound that is “Hold On” — the 2007 Italo disco-influenced anthem that put the Brooklyn duo on the map. Since then, I’ve eagerly anticipated each of their subsequent releases: 2009′s “I Will Come Back,” followed by “Say My Name,” “Static on the Wire,” and “I Know, I Hear” in 2010. Each song is a smartly crafted electro-dance concoction, teeming with 80′s inspired analogue synths and crisp vocals. Needless to say, the quality of these initial 5 tracks only heightened my enthusiasm for the upcoming debut LP.

Well, the wait is finally over! I am absolutely loving the 7 new songs that fill out a 10 track / 50 minute debut LP of epic proportions. It isn’t hyperbole to say that this is one of the best debut albums I’ve heard in a LONG time. Some early standouts include “Wait And See” and “It’s Not Over,” as well as closer “Some Children,” which flawlessly employs yacht rock legend Michael McDonald on backup vocals. (Could Mike McD come to be the Nate Dogg of indie collaborations?)

Although the album will officially drop on April 5th, you can catch a sample of things to come below.

HOLY GHOST! – SOME CHILDREN (FT. MICHAEL McDONALD)

File next to: LCD, Juan MacLean, Garçon Garçon, Miami Horror, Classixx

Also, these guys put on an awesome live performance that is not to be missed. I’ve been lucky enough to see them play twice; the first time opening for LCD Soundsystem (5/26/10 @ Metro, Chicago) and the second opening for Chromeo (8/26/10 @ The Cannery Ballroom, Nashville). Can’t wait to check them out a third time when they open for Cut Copy (4/8/11 @ The Riviera, Chicago). See you there?

Glasnost Remix The Ting Tings

Glasnost Remix The Ting Tings {1}

This is what happens when cheeky Brits collide with a Houston dance party.

THE TING TINGS – HANDS (GLASNOST REMIX)

Katy Perry Remixes That Do Not Suck

Katy Perry Remixes That Do Not Suck {2}

The music purist within me is slowly dying.

Let me explain. The proliferation of independent music into mainstream culture has blurred the lines of classification to such a degree that I don’t even know what “indie music” is anymore. Did you happen to see The Grammy Awards a few weeks ago? For the first time ever, an independent label album won the award for Album of the Year, beating out heavyweights like Eminem, Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry. Talk about a sign of the times.

So how does this affect me? I’ve always loved art, with music being my favorite medium. In the past, I’ve ripped commercial radio for pumping out generic entertainment masquerading as art. Heck, I even started a blog geared towards that contempt. (saynoradio.com.) But things change, and people evolve; and as it turns out, indie and mainstream can coexist.

For me, uber pop-star Katy Perry is a good example of this fresh outlook. I recently become an appreciator of her 2010 platinum-selling sophomore album Teenage Dream. Yes, she’s signed to a major label that have paid commercial radio station’s big money to play her singles. But for a moment, eliminate her mainstream appeal and focus on the artistic output.

Personally, I see little difference between her musical style and that of indie label artists such as Robyn, Annie, La Roux, and Ellie Goulding — whose latest works have respectively earned an impressive 8.7, 7.7, 7.0, and 6.8 on Pitchfork. Also, from what I understand, Katy Perry writes or co-writes all of her songs, which I’m sure is comparable to the aforementioned artists. (All of whom I enjoy, by the way.)

So, here’s the key takeaway: until recently, the only thing keeping me — and probably a lot of us — from getting on board with different types of music has been “labels.”

I’m over it. And it would seem that many highly respected producers such as Fred Falke, Mstrkrft, and DJ MegaMan are over it, too.

KATY PERRY – FIREWORK (FRED FALKE REMIX)

KATY PERRY – CALIFORNIA GURLS (MSTRKRFT REMIX)

KATY PERRY – TEENAGE DREAM (DJ MEGAMAN & PANIC CITY REMIX)

Louis La Roche Remix Duck Sauce

Louis La Roche Remix Duck Sauce {0}

Looks like my favorite NYC disco house DJ duo, Duck Sauce, are back in the lab working on some fresh new jams. Start your weekend off right with this colossal Louis La Roche remix of their single “Good 2 Me.”

DUCK SAUCE – GOOD 2 ME (LOUIS LA ROCHE REMIX)

Oldies: Home Video

Oldies: Home Video – The Smoke {0}

Brooklyn-based electronic rock duo Home Video create atmospheric jams that aims to heighten the senses, evident on “The Smoke,” my top pick from their 2010 sophomore LP The Automatic Process. There’s a heavy Radiohead influence on this track, too — always a plus.

“The Smoke” is perfect headphones music; best when played during a thunder and rain storm. And while reading a leather bound book. By candlelight.

Haha, I told you these guys were atmospheric ;)

Enjoy! – and apologies for the lack of recent posting. Expect regular updates in the very near future.

HOME VIDEO – THE SMOKE

indie.mix.39

indie.mix.39 {1}

What’s up everyone? Hope the new year is treating you well thus far! It’s cold and snowy here in Chicago, but life is good as always. I was able to finally put the finishing touches on my February 2011 Mix — The Groundhog Day / Snowpocalypse Special.

Please enjoy and be sure to stay warm out there!
Much love,
—Dan

indie.mix.39

Track List:listen below!
01. Cut Copy – Pharaohs & Pyramids
02. Restless People – Days of Our Lives
03. Smith Westerns – Weekend
04. Foster The People – Helena Beat
05. Toro Y Moi – New Beat
06. MillionYoung – Easy Now
07. Pnau – The Truth (Jump Jump Dance Dance Remix)
08. Starfucker – Millions
09. Holy Ghost! – Do It Again
10. Memory Tapes – Today Is Our Life
11. Penguin Prison – Golden Train
12. Mitzi – India
13. Ginger Ninja – Sunshine (Eumig & Chinon Remix)
14. Punches – Feeling Right
15. Twin Shadow – Shooting Holes at the Moon
16. Peter Bjorn and John – Second Chance
17. Delta Spirit – Bushwick Blues
18. Young Galaxy – Peripheral Visionaries
19. Gorillaz – Empire Ants (Miami Horror Remix)
20. James Blake – The Wilhelm Scream

Re-Introducing: PENGUIN PRISON

Re-Introducing: PENGUIN PRISON {3}

Penguin Prison is Chris Glover, another talented NYC electro-pop wunderkind who makes intelligent dance music influenced by erudite New York disco types like Talking Heads and LCD Soundsystem. On his track “Golden Train,” I really dig the anti-techno intro, which features analogue bleep textures layered under Chris’ pop star vocals.

PENGUIN PRISON – GOLDEN TRAIN

File next to: James Murphy, Hot Chip, Strange Talk, Holy Ghost!

Also, update your calendars and mark Feb 11 as the date the debut album drops. Soon after, when the record gets picked up by the mass media/communication channels, I predict that we all start throwing out the Prince, JT, and Pharrell comparisons — and with good reason. Let’s do the math on this guy: (1) he has the proverbial voice of an angel, (2) he’s one of the best guitar players you’ll ever see/hear, and (3) he can do an amazing Aaron Neville impression. He’s the total package; a one-man pop machine.

The only question remaining, though, is can he dance? If Chris can indeed pop and lock like MJ, then the world may want to get ready for the second coming of the King of Pop.

New: Memory Tapes

New: Memory Tapes – Today Is Our Life {2}

In September 2009, Memory Tapes delivered a dance-pop gem with Seek Magic — an album that no one saw coming, but one that was ubiquitously loved. Fifteen months later, new music from the NJ-based producer could not possibly arrive soon enough.

My eyes lit up last week when I saw frontman Dayve Hawk tweet “New Year // New Album.” One week later and we already have a sample of things to come!

Check out the new single “Today Is Our Life” from that forthcoming second LP. The track is also available on the Love SIC Disco compilation.

Around 1:04, I’m fairly certain that I hear the opening synth line from Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark.” Perhaps a small ode to the most famous celebrity to ever come out of Jersey? (Aside from Snooki, unfortunately.) Respect for The Boss.

MEMORY TAPES – TODAY IS OUR LIFE