Posted on Tuesday 30 June 2015

In 2008, an amazing CMG review of one of the most significant albums of the late aughts introduced me to two of the Detroit area’s finest rappers, Invincible and Finale. The following year, Finale would go on to release A Pipe Dream and a Promise, showcasing his unique flow, voice, and subject matter over beats from some of the finest producers of the day: Black Milk, Khrysis, Kev Brown, Oddisee, Flying Lotus, J Dilla… It was and is a fantastic album, and for me was only topped that year by the Oddisee-produced Diamond District debut.

After a number of fantastic collaborations (most notably the Oddisee remix of “Don’t Sleep”), Oddisee hinted that a fully-Oddisee-produced album was soon to come. Oddisee even dedicated a track from his 2010 instrumental Odd Spring EP beat tape to Finale. But life happens. Finale got married, had a son, focused on supporting his family with his day job, and the project understandably sat unfinished/unreleased.

Today Finale & Oddisee released the first track from that album, and Finale gave a short but honest interview to The Huffington Post. I can’t wait to hear the rest. Odds & Ends is available for pre-order, due August 15th.

topomodesto @ 7:46 pm
Filed under: Recommendations

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Kool Music – Green Mountain Beauty

Posted on Tuesday 16 June 2015

Booooooom creator Jeff Hamada (who I am pretty sure is responsible for introducing me to Future Islands back in 2010) made an excellent video for the POW! WOW! Hawaii 2015 arts festival, and man is the soundtrack fantastic. Among the great atmospheric tracks is this gem from Kool Music (AKA Jasper Baydala), “Green Mountain Beauty” off his 2011 split cassette, Won Ton Jazz.

topomodesto @ 10:38 pm
Filed under: Videos

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from kinshasa to the moon

Posted on Tuesday 9 June 2015

Mbongwana Star‘s lead single, “Malukayi” is a perfect, if unexpected, marriage of the Congolese 7-piece with Irish/French producer, Doctor L. Out now on World Circuit Records.

topomodesto @ 1:12 pm
Filed under: Videos

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Sythe – Just You

Posted on Monday 29 December 2014

Love & happiness embodied in Vancouver-based rapper Sythe‘s love note, “Just You.”

topomodesto @ 7:48 am
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Future Islands on Letterman

Posted on Tuesday 4 March 2014

Yeah, I just wrote that. At first I was worried that Samuel was holding back on the crazy voices that we all love so much. But he pulled it out for sure.

“I’ll take all of that you got.”

topomodesto @ 6:02 pm
Filed under: Videos


Moses Gold – Paradise Lost

Posted on Wednesday 26 February 2014

New Moses Gold single produced by Espher and it’s a lurker.

topomodesto @ 12:41 pm
Filed under: Recommendations

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Future Islands in Eagle Rock/on KCRW

Posted on Tuesday 4 February 2014

Future Islands at The Eagle Rock Center for the Arts

Future Islands played a small and sold-out show at The Eagle Rock Center of the Arts last night, spending most of the night unveiling songs off their pending 4AD debut, Singles. It was really exciting to hear the new songs for the first time, and the band seemed genuinely excited about them as well. They opened with a song called, “Back In The Tall Grass,” which was by far the highlight of the night for me – slowly building until a rhythm break that had everyone dancing. Can’t wait to hear it again.

They also played KCRW in the morning, doing a short mix of new and old songs. As much as I love their live show — and having seen them now 4 times — I have to say, I really wish that lead singer Samuel Herring didn’t give intros to tell you what each song is about. Because they’re (mostly) about different things for me as the listener. I wish he was OK with leaving the songs open to interpretation rather than so finite. At least he only did it twice on the KCRW show. In Eagle Rock last night, it was almost every song.

01. Give Us The Wind (“a song about finding what you love and doing it with all your heart”)
02. Seasons (Waiting On You)
03. One Day
04. A Dream Of You And Me (“a song about standing out by the ocean, wrestling with a question”
05. Long Flight

topomodesto @ 2:14 pm
Filed under: Live

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february 2014 mix

Posted on Sunday 2 February 2014

Mid-last year, I had a momentary lapse while listening to Songs: Ohia‘s “Just Be Simple” — one of those thoughts that you are immediately embarrassed about — that I should make a point of checking Jason Molina’s touring schedule so I could see him the next time he came to town. It’s amazing how one can put sad thoughts out of one’s mind rather than hang on to them. It was only mere months ago that I had read with great pain of the loss of Jason to addiction. Those songs still live with me, though they hit me a bit harder now that he has left us.

So this mix was kinda intended to be a take on modern country, but with my taste is more folksy than I originally envisioned. I find it soothing, but it probably won’t exactly put you in a good mood.

Rest in peace, Jason.

February 2014 Mix – “Just be simple”

01 Songs: Ohia – Just Be Simple (2003)
02 Neko Case – I Wish I Was The Moon (2007)
03 First Aid Kit – Ghost Town (2010)
04 Damien Jurado – I Had No Intentions (2006)
05 Califone – Michigan Girls (2003)
06 Townes Van Zandt – My Proud Mountains (1969)
07 Iron & Wine – Upward Over the Mountain (2002)
08 Bosque Brown – Fine Lines (2005)
09 Sera Cahoone – Nowehere To Be Found (2006)
10 Cat Power – Silver Stallion (The Highwaymen cover) (2008)
11 Bill Callahan – Riding For The Feeling (2011)
12 Bonnie “Prince” Billy – I Called You Back (2006)
13 Patsy Cline – Tennessee Waltz (Radio Transcription) (1963)
14 Angel Olsen – Tiniest Seed (2012)
15 Neko Case – Tightly (2002)
16 Bishop Allen – Busted Heart (2003)
17 Songs:Ohia – Hold On Magnolia (Demo) (2003)


(Streamable version of the mix)

topomodesto @ 10:18 pm
Filed under: Mixes

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Oddisee – Le Boulevard Montmartre

Posted on Tuesday 28 January 2014

Mello Music Group, currently the record label home of some of hip-hop’s best boom bap producers and biggest drum programming, Oddisee & Apollo Brown, just released a 2-part compilation of new material from their roster, Mandala

Vol. 1 & 2. Vol. 2 is billed as the boom bap volume, and doesn’t disappoint. Especially loving this Pete Rock-inspired Oddisee instrumental, “Le Boulevard Montmartre,” which sounds like it was pulled straight off 2001’s Petestrumentals. But with even more kick in the drums. Love it.

topomodesto @ 8:57 pm
Filed under: Recommendations


Angel Olsen

Posted on Thursday 9 January 2014

Angel Olsen

I am absolutely in love with the new hints of an album coming out of St. Louis/Chicago’s Angel Olsen. I mean, seriously. This new track, “Hi-Five” has a beautiful Patsy Cline feel to it. “Are you lonely too?” Probably.

And then there’s the heartbroken anthem of “Forgiven/Forgotten”:

If there’s one thing I fear
It’s knowing you’re out
So close but not here
So close
But not with me here

Burn Your Fire For No Witness, her third album — but first to be amplified and released on Jagjaguwar — is out on February 18th. And she comes to L.A. on 3/2. Can’t wait.

Angel Olsen – Forgiven/Forgotten (right-click to download)

topomodesto @ 3:43 am
Filed under: Recommendations