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Posts Tagged ‘Pharoahe Monch’

39. Down – Ghosts Along The Mississippi

Phil Anselmo’s a beast. The uncrowned prince of southern-tinged thrash metal and whatnot. Along with his merry band of traveling badasses (Pepper Keenan, Jimmy Bower and Rex Brown), he belts out one of the best metal ballads I’ve heard since forever. Yes it’s a ballad. Just that Anselmo’s narrative skills are really really scary. Just so you know, Down’s Bustle In Your Hedgegrow is a keeper.

38. Pharoahe Monch, Common & Talib Kweli – The Truth

Some folks sleep better at night, knowing that Hip Hop is only about silly braggadocio and profane limericks. Yeah sure, man. Metal’s all about “Fred Durst and his nookie”, Blues is nothing but an erstwhile John Mayer solo stuck in transit and hey, what is Jazz but a fleeting moment encapsulated inside those reverb-laden Buddha’s Bar albums, right? Wankers. Rappers Pharoahe Monch, Talib Kweli and Common turn their spittle into laidback conscious rhymes as ethereal strings dive bomb all around them.

37. Weezer – Brain Stew (Live at AOL Sessions)

The anthemic pop punk explosion of Green Day’s original is given a shock treatment by the underrated LA hipsters Weezer. They sedate the track into sounding like therapeutic murmurs that burst into full-blow argument in favour of insanity, thanks to a fantastic piano breakdown. Fun fact: Rivers Cuomo eats cookie-cutter punks like Billie Joe for breakfast.

36. Corrosion Of Conformity – Rise River Rise

I bet James Hetfield secretly wishes that Metallica had made America’s Volume Dealer instead of Corrosion Of Conformity. Soul-stirring, bone-crunching and flat-out amazing. Senor badass Pepper J. Keenan on vocal duties and rhythm guitar plays us like a fiddle, especially on this track.  Fun fact: Pepper Keenan burps out hags like Hetfield after a diet coke.

35. Mark Lanegan – Bombed

Mark Lanegan’s sandpaper-grated, whiskey-soaked vocals surface above the sparse acoustic strumming, along with PJ Harvey’s velveteen whispering, to create the sort of experience that a measly minute truly doesn’t deserve. Like QOTSA’s Lullaby but a million times better.

34. Jon Brion – Theme from ESOTSM

Jon Brion just happens to be one of the most talented multi-instrumentalists out there. His compositions for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind work wonders with Charlie Kaufman’s fantastic dialogues. Existentialism has never sounded lovelier.

33. Crowbar – To Touch the Hand of God / Odd Fellows Rest

I have wussied out and chosen Louisiana’s sludge kings Crowbar’s tamest and most palpable tracsk. Matter of fact, these could be the most fragile ballads to have ever emerged from the NOLA metal scene (along with COC’s Shelter). Not many completely fathom the unbridled intensity of their slow-paced, downtuned brooding, but it would take nothing short of busted eardrums to circumvent the breathtaking artistry of these two.

32. Aceyalone and Goapele – Moonlit Skies

As a founding member of the Freestyle Fellowship, LA rapper Aceyalone was one of the forerunners of jazz rap. Goapele is one of those neo soul musicians who playfully messes around with downtempo and trip hop. Together they…yes, I do believe the word I’m looking for is magic.

31. The Eels – Hospital Food

In case you’re new around here, Mark Oliver Everett has my vote for any King of Pop list. I don’t know any other singer-songwriter since Lennon and probably Elliot Smith to a lesser extent who has been this consistently good. The 1998 album Electro Shock Blues has some of the most gloriously twisted pop music there ever was, with this track’s erstwhile saxophone meltdown providing its most cathartic moment. “He’s always got a problem, he’s a very bitter dude, and now he’s complaining ’bout his hospital food”.

30. Portishead – Only You (Live In Roseland)

Let it be known that Portishead’s Live In Roseland, NYC, is one of the best live albums of the Nineties. With the New York Philharmonic Orchestra backing her up, singer Beth Gibbons lovingly embraces her smoky bar-room mystique and launches into a bone-chilling version of this track.

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mark_knopfler_-_sailing_to_philadelphia_fr

Clapton, Page, Iommi and a few other guitarists have truly made me feel horrendous for being cursed with stubby fingers. As for Mark Knopfler, he was never a guitar god to me. At best, he was a gentle gargoyle who made pop rock songs that could have helped Michael in his quest to rock. Their songs had great melodies and all, but nothing that could justify their legendary status. The Sailing to Philadelphia album marked the first time I heard the Mark Knopfler sound and went, “woaaaw cool”. On Junkie Doll, his vocals and guitar bring out the beast in him. It starts off a good blues track that flirts with greatness during its quieter moments and by the time the subdued solo kicks in, it strips itself naked and fucks with awesome…and leaves without giving a phone number. Oh yeah badass.

*****

archie bronson

Archie Bronson Outfit had me dancing two summers ago. Their first video – Dart For My Sweetheart – was so much fun that I thought they were an amateur garage band looking for some sweet YouTube fame. When I realized just how tight and frigging catchy they were, I went around asking my friends to give up Jesus and instead let Archie Bronson Outfit into their hearts. The spiritual payoff might not be great, but the joy of incessantly tapping your feet to four minutes of Hendrix-influenced garage pop goodness is something you should seriously consider. Overhype besides, if you don’t find yourself nodding your head to the ‘Nah nanana nah nah ahhhh” groove, start sniffing around for vampires. You are Van Helsing. You are hollow.

*****

pharoahemonchdesire1

Born unto this world as Troy Donald Jamerson, Pharoahe Monch probably has the whitest name ever for a rapper from Queens. Thankfully, that hasn’t stopped him from ripping through a vicious cover of a classic Public Enemy rhyme. Just so you know, Pharoahe Monch’s gnarly version of Welcome To The Terrordome smokes the original. One of the most adrenaline-fuelled political hip hop songs like ofmygod ever.

*****

Air-Moon-Safari-10th-431277

I used to associate French electronic duo Air with their 1998 single Sexy Boy. It was a truly awful piece of kitschy music. As it turned out, Sexy Boy never happened again. Matter of fact, I don’t think I have heard a bad Air track since then. From the breezy melodies in All I Need and Kelly Watch The Stars that make my ears want to dance to the eerily sober and sophisticated harmonies in Cherry Blossom Girl and La Femme d’Argent, they all seem so dam likeable. Their contribution to Sofia Coppola’s Virgin Suicides‘ soundtrack is a collection of their finest and most fragile moments. It really doesn’t get any better than Playground Love. Just listen to that saxophone solo explode with love.

Download

Mark Knopfler – Junkie Doll

Air – Playground Love

Watch

Archie Bronson Outfit – Dart For My Sweetheart

Pharoahe Monch – Welcome To The Terrordome

Air – You Make It Easy

Buy

Mark Knopfler’s Sailing To Philadelphia

Air’s Moon Safari

Archie Bronson Outfit – Derdang Derdang

Pharoahe Monch’s Internal Affairs

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