This is why I hate hipsters and the mainstream press. I love me some Michael Franti. He is one of very few artists who I trust completely. If he’s got a new record out I buy it straight up. The dude is fucking sweet like that. But while I heard about the recording of this album at the beginning of the year, I did not realize it was out until today. And the reason is that if a dude smokes a little bit of weed and walks around barefoot people right him off, but Michael Franti should be in every one’s iTunes list and All Rebel Rockers is a must have type of record. Franti, who has messed with soul, funk, hip hop, and R&B in a posi-vibe mix with influence from Americana and Folk music goes hardcore into new territories on All Rebel Rockers. Mixing dub, reggae, dance hall and a little bit of things he’s done before, Franti went down to Kingstown Jamicia and made a very rich, authentic record. This record has some great moments that remind this pasty old man of the best moments of Sandinista. It’s a fierce album, Franti lays down the deep voice, the band stays funky and all in all you should make lots of love to this album.
TV on the Radio
This album is also a bit of old hat for most of the hipsters out there and frankly this band is so good I am surprised anyone who knows absolutely nothing about music could be into this band, but the dorks dig this noise and I can’t blame them. TV On The Radio is one of those bands that I liked in concept but the execution of it was never quite hitting it for me. They play with soundscapes that are rich and lush and the production always sort of reminded me of Dalek actually, but it just seemed a bit too spaced out to me. Not any more though because Dear Science tightens everything up and just jams the fuck out with out being too self aggrandizing. I pretty much got instantly hooked on “Dancing Choose” after I saw the clip of them on Jay Leno. That song is fierce in it’s blow out tempo, rapid fire delivery from co-front man Tunde Adebimpe and the awesome one note guitar solo that just drills. The rest of the album brings the same crazy sounds you are used to, and gets funky. They also decided to keep it to just 11 tracks which makes for a much better listening experience. This album could be a surprise entry in my top five if it gets enough play time between now and the end of the month.
Speaking of Top Five, it’s been a very weird music year for me. There have been some awesome surprises, some disappointments and some new bands that defined my life for the 2008. What I thought were gonna be some shoe-ins definitely did not. Next year is also looking up with January bringing me new Matt and Kim, Mastodon and Dalek. World/Inferno Friendship Society are allegedly hitting the studio again and El-P even promised an album in the ’09. The dread locked Bostonian Mr Lif will drop his new album of political observations soon as well. Hopefully we will see new music by the Beauty Pill finally and I would love some more Ghost Mice. So I am gonna try and write about a few albums and songs and other stuff over the next few weeks and kick out my top five of 2008 some time in December. I also am going to drop my top ten all time records. It’s been a while since I revisited that list and certainly there are some new additions.
So anyway, check out these albums if you get a chance and keep it real.