Wednesday, June 6, 2007
I was reading a review on a website that I enjoy a great deal and saw a positive review to an album that really captured me visually. Usually, I don't too excited over a band with such a cool album cover, but for some reason this one really got me. Around this time last year, I came across a band that would soon rank with LCD Soundsystem as my favorite current band. This band was of course the Howling Bells. I was floored by their debut and have since fallen in love with them, especially Juanita Stein. So now, this year, a new band with a cool image and artwork has arrived and made me very happy. This new band is White Rabbits from Brooklyn.
Imagine the Walkmen at their most dancehall mixed with The Specials and Madness with some very rhythmic drumming and "latin tinged" piano, and you have White Rabbits. Bascially, this is some very exciting music with a good mix of genres. This is going to be one of those perfect Summer albums to take with you on a sunny beach and let the breeze go across you. The music is that refreshing.
What makes the album is a few factors. One, the vocals are very hypnotic at times and just enough to get those spots under your skin. Second, the piano is really something. It goes from dancehall-esque "Death Of A Clown" to Afro-Cuban music. Third, the drumming is very exciting. I hear there are two drummers. The latin influence comes in a great deal with the drumming as well. Apparently, I haven't gotten around to it yet, but the lyrics are very provacative. I know I should be on top of something this important, but mind you , there is so much going on during this album. It is just one thing after another.
This is one of the better surprises I have had this year. I love hearing that new rock band that really gets me. With my love of Hip Hop and Electronic music, still underneath it all I love good, interesting rock music. When a band comes around that really gets my blood flowing and does something interesting with music again, the world just seems better. White Rabbits are that kind of band to me. I may have just got the album, but it is very unique and stands on its own as one of the best new albums and bands around. So please, do yourself a favor and listen to this delightful album.
I was watching a video clip of Keb Darge talking about music. For those who don't know, Keb Darge is buddies with Cut Chemist and Shadow and actually opened for them on the Product Placement tour. He is an encyclopedia and archive of old Soul and Funk music. Basically, he is a serious digger. He was talking about there is this label out right now that is making the best funk music. He says there is literally no bad recording from the label. It is a new label too, from Brooklyn. It is called Daptone Records. Now, I get kinda cautious about modern funk music. Usually I think of a bunch reallly boring white kids with strats or happy go lucky people just jamming. It gets me a bit sick honestly. But Daptone is none of that. It is straight up raw, deep funk, the best stuff around. It has a myspace. Go to it. I urge you. The house band is Dap-Kings. These guys are seriously damn good. You might know them because they hang out with Mark Ronson. They were the band on his versions, and I have a feeling they were the band on Back To Black by Miss Winehouse. So that should give you an idea what the music is like.
The flagship artist is Sharon Jones, and she has the Dap-Kings as her band. I have downloaded two of her albums: Naturally and Dap-Dappin'. These two albums are balls to the wall amazing funk music. The music sounds like it was straight from the 70s. The production is flawless. You won't hear drums mic'd any better, well maybe James Murphy. The music is fast, grooving, soulful, and very energetic. Miss Jones is one of the finest vocalists I've heard in some time. So pretty much, this stuff is some of the most exciting and fun music around, and it is so fresh and new.
A few years from now, hip hop producers will not be cutting up old James Brown samples, they will be cutting up Daptone artists's breaks. I certainly hope Daptone gets some recognition. It really deserves it. When you think about the "soul" or "r&b" music on the radio today, it makes you want to take a watery shit and wipe your stereo with it. Daptone is the real deal. So please brothers and sisters pick up a Daptone single of any sort, and you will not be dissapointed.