Seu Jorge

30 Jan

Probably kicked off by viewing of the Moonrise Kingdom Trailer, and the immediate readings of various interviews with Wes Anderson afterwards, I began listening to Seu Jorge. I started with his work in the Life Aquatic soundtrack and then began listening to his other stuff and it is phenomenal. Now don’t take me for one of these World Music elitists because I’m not, but this is just really good music.

Jorge, hails from the favelas of Brazil, but does not fall into the common style of music, Baile Funk(made famous by djs Diplo and Switch through Major Lazer), that is commonly associated with the country. Influenced equally by samba and Stevie Wonder, Jorge creates a perfect mixture of ethnically latin music with American soul. At some points, such as his Life Aquatic Studio Sessions, he even takes on a sound that is folky in its own right. For example, on his cover of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust” he sounds like a Spanish Bob Dylan. Its phenomenal.

Jorge has been around for a while now. He debuted in 1998 with his debut album Moro no Brasil and since then has amassed a pretty decent discography while making appearances in movies such as The Life Aquatic and City of God(which I desperately want to see). Most recently though, he collaborated with Beck(one of my favorite musicians) on a remix of his, Beck’s, 1998 song “Tropicalia,” off of the album Mutations, on which Beck experimented with island and Latin American sounds. The remix is great, featuring, Jorge singing the verses in Spanish, which is contrasted well with keeping Beck’s original English choruses in tact. Overall an incredible song.

Tropicalia- Beck (Mario C 2011 Remix ft. Seu Jorge and Beck)

Tive Razo- Seu Jorge

Ziggy Stardust- Seu Jorge


The Moonrise Kingdom Trailer

25 Jan

This is going to be a fucking great movie for my movie watching this year. The Dark Knight Rises, comes out this summer completing one of my favorite trilogies ever, by one of my favorite two directors, Chris Nolan. And now, my other favorite, Wes Anderson, has a new movie coming out on May 25th.

I love Anderson’s movies(the Life Aquatic being my favorite). I don’t know how to describe why, but each of his movies in phenomenal. I hate to call them quirky but I might have to. Their perfect blend of subtle humor, incredible soundtracks, and deep thematic elements makes each of them fucking amazing.

I don’t know what else to say. Really. Basically if you have not seen a Wes Anderson film, you should definitely try and find one to watch. Other than that, I have nothing else to say, except watch the trailer and see why this is a current obsession.

Oh and besides the typical Anderson cast except Owen Wilson(Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, etc.) it has Frances McDormand. And Bruce Willis. And Edward Norton.



Gangsta Rap

17 Jan

This weekend I have listened to nothing but Gangsta Rap and nothing else. Yes I am white and no I do not walk around like this is my fucking lifestyle because its not. In fact nothing makes me more pissed off then when white kids walk around like they’re fucking thug or some shit and talk about how they love Gangsta Rap. I mean it wouldn’t piss me off so much, but they listen to shitty Gangsta Rap. Slim Shady and 50 Cent aren’t real Gangsta Rap. DMX doesn’t make you thug. If they actually listened to real Gangsta Rap I wouldn’t be so pissed off, but they don’t.

Enough ranting though, I do have to admit, while previously to this obsession, I had the staples, Wu Tang, Biggie, Dre, and 2pac, etc., my recent watching of office space has really brought my enjoyment into an obsession. As I said above I don’t listen to it because I think I’m thug. I don’t listen to it ironically either. I listen to it because its fucking good. I don’t give a shit what anyone says, Gangsta Rap is fucking good. Number one, the beats are just as good as any other style of music out there. I mean, just look at Ice Cube, in Check Yo Self he samples Grandmaster Flash’s The Message(which was going to be a previous post of mine until I decided to sideline it), its just such a self aware knowledge of his art forms beginnings and revamping it to make it totally new, to capture the angry word of the street and the feelings of disenfranchisement and rebellion of the time. Even further, if you take a look at the RZA’s production on all of Wu-Tang’s songs, its just absolute musical genius.

Anyone who hates Gangsta Rap, really have no basis in their hate. I mean at one point I did too(when I was much younger, I’m talking middle school years), but then I realized that I had never really given it a chance. They say its not music. That its just people talking over music and therefore they are not musicians. But this is false, because every rapper has some sense of the rhythm and are not just talking. They demonstrate rhythm and therefore are musicians because rhythm is an intricate part of music. Possibly the most important, because melody and everything else mean nothing without rhythm. These same haters rail on the lyrics and the subject matter. I have to say I have an objective view because lyrics don’t really mean anything to me. I listen to the voice as another instrument and that’s why I don’t know the words to songs I’ve been listening to for like ten years now. But, sex drugs and shooting, is clearly the main subject matter of most Gangsta Rap songs and most people have a problem with this. The bottom line though is, that’s what most music is about. The Rolling Stones sang about sex and drugs and these same people who hail these bands, dismiss Gangsta Rap due to its lyrical content, well these people are just goddamn hypocrites because the music they listen to has just about the same subject matter. On that note, Gangsta rappers really don’t talk about raping women like everyone says they do. In fact the only two rappers who I have ever heard make explicit references to rape are Odd Future and Eminem. And also, as much as rappers talk about the sex and drugs lifestyle they also go against it too. Just look at Wu-Tang’s, Visionz,

You can’t party your life away
Drink your life away
Smoke your life away
Fuck your life away
Dream your life away
Scheme your life away
Cause your seeds grow up the same way.

So I call bullshit on all these people who say that Gansta Rap is all about vices. There is some element of family friends and community in the lyrics.

The bottom line, is Biggie, GZA, 2pac, Dre, and company were just punks. They were doing the same exact thing that the Ramones, Sex Pistols, and other bands did twenty years before. The only difference was their medium of music.

Gangsta Rap is good. It sounds good and that’s all that should matter in music. The sound. If you are a true music fan you should look at all music objectively on first listen and then if it sounds good they should like it. So there is no way a true music fan should completely dismiss this form of music because its fucking good. And it makes me feel thug as shit.

My Favorite Rap Lyrics

“Just wakin up in the morning gotta thank god/ I don’t know but today seems kind of god”- Ice Cube, It Was a Good Day

“Real Gansta ass N****s don’t run for shit/ cuz real gangsta ass n****s don’t run fast”- Geto Boys, Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta

“So when I’m in your neighborhood you better duck/ Cuz Ice Cube is crazy as fuck”- NWA, Straight Outta Compton

100% Funk

13 Jan

While I was home for Christmas Break, I was rooting through my dads old CDs and finding music to add to my iTunes library. I had a couple of alright finds, Placebo, Hole, and Joe Jackson to name a few. But as I went upstairs from my methlab looking basement, I saw a gold mine on the corner of the shelf. As you may have guessed it is what this post is about, the cd 100% Funk. And when I say this was a gold mine, I mean it was a fucking gold mine.

It was beautiful. I mean the cover itself, was a testament to just how great it would be. So I picked it up and brought it upstairs where I flipped the case and read a list of Funk heavyweights, that would rock any 7o’s roller disco. Wild Cherry, The Commodores, Parliament, these were just the first three bands listed. I imported it, and since then have listened to the CD about seven to ten times all the way through.

These are the tracks on this amazing cd.

Early In The Morning-Gap Band 
Funkytown- Lipps Inc. 
Boogie Oogie Oogie- A Taste of Honey
Fire- Ohio Players
Car Wash- Rose Royce
Low Rider- War
Tear the Roof Off the Sucker- Parliament
Get Down On It- Kool & the Gang
You Sexy Thing- Hot Chocolate 
Superfreak- Rick James
Brick House- The Commodores
Play That Funky Music- Wild Cherry

I suggest that everyone listens to this gift from god that is 100% Funk.

Friday Playlist

13 Jan

Every Friday at Current Obsessions we will be posting a Friday Playlist. There is really no theme to them, the music spans all genres and all different time periods. With that said, here is Week One.

A$AP Rocky – Peso
araabMUZIK – I Remember
Aretha Franklin & Otis Redding – Respect – Aretha Franklin
Clash – Rudie Can’t Fail
Colin Stetson – The stars in his head (Dark Lights Remix)
Damian Marley – Move!
The Darkness – I Believe In A Thing Called Love
Grand Master Flash – The Message
Jamie xx – Far Nearer
Joe Jackson – Five Guys Named Moe
Sbtrkt – Wildfire (feat. Little Dragon)
The Shins – Simple Song
The Specials – Little Bitch
Wild Cherry – Play That Funky Music
Wu-Tang Clan – Visionz
Wu-Tang Clan – As High As Wu-Tang Get

There are no links attached for the record.

King Charles

12 Jan

No, not that King Charles. The musician, also from the U.K. named King Charles. I first heard about his wonders when he went on tour with Mumford & Sons (the band who should have won best album for the Grammy’s, but that’s beside the point). When he was on tour it seemed like everyone was talking about him as much as they were talking about Mumford & Sons. To get that much recognition while being an opening act is crazy. What was even more crazy is his music, crazy good that is.

His song Love Lust was his first music video I saw and his first song I heard as well. I instantly knew it was love, not lust, that kept this catchy love song playing over and over on my computer and left me yearning for more. He hadn’t put out an album yet (and still technically hasn’t, only releasing a Single and an EP) and I was dying for one after seeing his Black Cab Session video of his song Ivory Road. First of the concept of the Black Cab Sessions is awesomely great. Only in England I guess. Secondly this is probably one of the greatest lyrical songs that I have ever heard. I challenge you to find a better one. Seriously, leave a video or a link to a better one in the comment section. These videos, along with his We Didn’t Start the Fire video and his Beating Hearts video left me longing for a full album.

A couple days ago, January 10th to be exact, he released his first EP, Mississippi Isabel. And what a wonderful EP it is. Although he did not include all the songs I have come to love, he did provide me with an EP to be currently obsessed with. Constant repeat on my iPod. So I highly suggest checking him out and remember my challenge.

Lana Del Rey

11 Jan

I know by now the word is out about just how amazing Lana Del Rey is, but being that she was what influenced me in my creation of Current Obsessions. The self proclaimed “gangsta Nancy Sinatra,” has already been signed to Interscope records and her music has been featured on the CW’s “The Ringer.” She releases her album “Born To Die” on January 30th, with a ridiculous amount of hype.

In October, when Del Rey first came out with “Video Games” I was kind of skeptical. The song didn’t exactly strike me as that good. It was boring and slow and I glanced over it. But I kept on listening to it and each time it got better. Every time, the darkness of the strings and orchestra and the longing in her voice swallowed me. “I say you the bestest/ Lean in for a Big Kiss/ Put his favorite perfume on/ Go play a video game,” Del Rey croons, depicting the unrequited love between her and her lover, that feeling of  pain when ignored and rejected. The video that accompanies it compliments the song well. The cut and paste style depicts the drear that the song creates. Del Rey’s latest single, “Born To Die,” continues her trend of melodramatic love songs, again creating a beautiful masterpiece this time of existential despair and love.

My favorite part about Lana Del Rey, is just how different she is from the other women in the indie world.(I know she is technically not indie due to her major label status but for all intents and purposes she is). To me indie women all sound the same. There is no difference between Regina Spector and Lilly Allen to be honest. They both fit a corporate indie style, with which they write cutesy music. On the other hand, Del Rey’s orchestral arrangements and deep voice create a darkness that other women in indie don’t create in their music.

Link To “Born To Die”

Current Obsessions

11 Jan

This is the Current Obsessions blog. This may seem vain that I expect anyone to want read about what my tastes are, but what I’m really trying to do is take what I’ve been reading, listening to, watching, eating, etc. and writing about them. Just, a little about them, why I like them and why everyone should be paying attention to them. I hope that as this progresses I can get more people to write posts too. I would greatly appreciate comments because I feel like the stuff here should foster conversation pretty easily, and if it isn’t and you and my other readers are bored, than let me know, so I can find more interesting things to write about. Thank You and welcome to Current Obsessions.