Video: Asher Roth and Nottz – “Enforce The Law”

I don’t really wanna perpetuate Asher Roth, but this video for “Enforce The Law” is kind of a funny takeoff of Training Day. And it’s a lot better than anything else Roth has released since his first mixtape.


Download: The One AM Radio – “An Old Photo Of Your New Lover (DNTEL Remix)”

It seems like it’s been a while since Jimmy Tamborello, aka DNTEL, aka one half of the Postal Service, has released some new music. Well, this isn’t exactly his own work, but he remixed a song off the new album by The One AM Radio, which the LA Times premiered here.


20 Years Ago: Black Sheep – A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

This is the first of  a new series here on IlliotGould.com, where I’ll take a look back at classic and not-so-classic albums that came out 20 years ago. Feel free to comment and make suggestions, and enjoy the nostalgia.

On October 22, 1991, Black Sheep’s debut album, A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, was released. The newest member of the Native Tongues posse (which also included De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, and Jungle Brothers), Black Sheep brought wit, sex, and irreverence to a genre that took itself pretty seriously in the early ’90s. Dres’ silky smooth voice and ladies man persona matched perfectly with DJ Mista Lawnge’s eclectic beats, a melange of funk, disco, soul, and rock samples and concepts. The album was fairly successful at the time, and tracks like “Strobelight Honey” and “The Choice is Yours” have become classics, the latter even currently appearing in a Kia commercial in its popular “Revisited” form. That forever recognizable intro bassline can still get a party jumping.

Black Sheep are sometimes classified as “alternative” hip-hop, but that’s really a bullshit categorization. Sheep’s Clothing was real, slamming, vibrant, creative hip-hop that was way ahead of its time. Dres was a unique voice of his era, and did not seem to care about expectations of the genre. Although gangsta rap was in its nascency at the time, Dres clearly felt the pressure to be “hard.” He expresses as much on the album’s joke of an opening track, “U Mean I’m Not,” a gangster nightmare from which he fortunately awakes to commence spitting great song after great song.

Almost every track on this album delivers, and even the scattered skits, popular at the time, are relatively clever. One, “Go To Hail,” is a precursor to Danny Glover publicizing the trouble African Americans can have getting a cab in NYC. The first single was the jazzy, funky “Flavor of the Month,” the song that introduced me to the group. The track is still irresistible, its descending bassline and light-as-air trumpet solo providing the perfect background for Dres’ couplets and metaphors. “Similak Child” is lovely and bizarre, built around a pyschedelic guitar and barking dog sample. The posse cut, “Pass the 40,” was one of the greatest, a round robin of good-time rhymes and schoolyard humor. And let’s not forget that this was the album that introduced the world to Chi-Ali, who unfortunately ended up murdering his sister’s boyfriend in 2000 and is serving a 14-year sentence.

The group is sort of still in existence, although it’s really just Dres these days. He released an album last year, but Sheep’s Clothing remains the classic that stands the test of time.


This Week’s New Releases

BorisAttention Please/Heavy RocksSargent House

Two new albums from Japan’s best sludge-rockers.

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“Don’t Know Who We Are”

The DonkeysBorn With StripesDead Oceans

San Diego country-fried rock.

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TearistLiving: 2009-PresentThin Wrist Recordings

LA fuck rock.

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Julian LynchTerraUnderwater Peoples

Ridgewood, NJ rock.

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DaedelusBespokeNinja Tune

His most intricate album to date.


New Releases: Bon Iver – Bon Iver (Jagjaguwar)

I’m sure everyone knows by now, but Kanye BFF Bon Iver’s self-titled new album will be out this June, a labor of love that’s taken him three years to complete at a former vet clinic in Wisconsin. It’s a family affair: “Bon Iver regulars Sean Carey, Mike Noyce and Matt McCaughan contributed vocals, drums and production; Rob Moose (Antony and the Johnsons, The National) helped with arranging and strings; and Jim Schoenecker and Tom Wincek (who have previously collaborated with Vernon under the Volcano Choir moniker) provided processing. The album also features the pedal steel of Greg Leisz (Lucinda Williams, Bill Frisell) and a horn section including Colin Stetson (Tom Waits, Arcade Fire), Mike Lewis (Andrew Bird, Happy Apple), and C.J. Camerieri (Rufus Wainwright, Sufjan Stevens).” Mark my words, this kid’s gonna be huge. The tracklist:

1. Perth
2. Minnesota, WI
3. Holocene
4. Towers
5. Michicant
6. Hinnom, TX
7. Wash.
8. Calgary
9. Lisbon, OH
10. Beth/Rest


This Week’s New Releases

Bill CallahanApocalypse (Drag City)

Arguably one of America’s most haunting contemporary vocalists.

LanuHer 12 Faces (EMI/Caroline)

Cutsey electro-folk.

MetronomyThe English RivieraBecause Music/Big Beat/Atlantic

Organ rock.

Del The Funky HomosapienGolden Era – The Council

Mistadobalina no more.

!llmindBehind The CurtainNature Sounds


Video: Tom Vek – “A Chore”

It’s been five long years since his debut album, and Tom Vek is finally back with some new music and a clever new TV Party-referencing video for the lead single, “A Chore.” Leisure Seizure comes out this June.


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