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December 27th, 2011

Guide To New Music: Holiday Rap Tapes

Make Major Moves navigates the never-ending deluge of new music releases.
BABYKUSH‘Twas the week of Christmas and all through the music world, not a major label was stirring, not even an indie. But the rap world never sleeps. #neversleeps. Don’t forget. #dontforget. Fuck labels. #fucklabels.

A sleigh-load of mixtapes dropped on the web (down the chimney?) over the past week. I haven’t had time to listen to them–I’ve been stuffing my fat face while sitting around a giant, lit-up green tree with my 83-year-old Japanese grandmother who successfully dodged Yank bombs but doesn’t need to dodge The Based God’s expletives–but here’s a summary of what happened while you were busy ripping open bundles of tube socks.

Following his solid The Revival tape (which placed on my Top 10 Philly Albums list), State Property vet/Philly spitter Young Chris unleashed the 8-track Young Christmas EP.

Also on the local tip, young Chester, Pa. producer Jahlil Beats dropped Crack Music 5. In case you don’t know him, he’s responsible for one of the year’s biggest rap songs, Rick Ross and Meek Mill’s “Ima Boss.” Earlier this year he signed with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. Congrats, Jahlil!

ALSO ON THE LOCAL TIP, Ryshon Jones delivered Brightest Nights, Darkest Days.

Harlem’s Smoke DZA, who we saw perform earlier this year when The Smoker’s Club Tour stopped by the Troc, released the SweetBabyKushedGod tape (pic above). Philly’s Freeway pops up on the remix for “Loko,” the collab track DZA did earlier this year with A$AP Rocky.

Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, whose Lost In Translation tape made some people go nuts (but not me), returned with some Christmas cheer over the weekend. Showing off how cool he is, he released Merry eX-mas & Suck My Dick.

Squadda B, the Oakland rapper/producer who’s 1/2 of Main Attrakionz, threw down Back $ellin Crack: Ball Til You Fall with features by Danny Brown, Shady Blaze, and his Attrakionz partner MondreM.A.N.

You probably guessed that wacky MC Lil B The Based God wouldn’t be able to keep quiet over the holidays. You guessed right. He released the 17-track Gold House tape on Christmas day.

New York rapper Fabolous released There Is No Competition III: Death Comes In 3’s on Xmas and it’s already gone Platinum on DatPiff (which means it’s been downloaded over 250,000 times). Philly boss Meek Mill appears on “You Don’t Know Bout It.”

A few days before X, and following his recent Lock Out tape collab with Waka Flocka Flame, French Montana teamed up with Juicy J for a release called Cocaine Mafia.

Houston’s Slim Thug dropped one for his hometown called Houston. Remember Paul Wall? He’s on it.

Grammy rapper Nelly, who had that song called “Ride Wit Me” a while ago, released O.E.M.O.

If you listened to Lil B or Main Attrakionz this year then you know young Jersey producer Clams Casino. Earlier in the year he released an Instrumental mixtape, and now he’s offering a digitally remastered version of it.

As you can see, Christmas ain’t over yet. All but two of these suckers are available as free downloads. Snag ‘em. I’m sure almost 3,000 other mixtapes came out that aren’t listed here (i.e. Asher Roth), so feel free to rep your clique in the comment section.

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011 Posted in Features, News | No Comments »

December 26th, 2011

Monday Morning Comedown: New Videos By Far-Out Fangtooth, 2 Chainz, Colin Stetson, Cat Power, and Panda Bear

Five new videos making the rounds at Make Major Moves Headquarters. We hope they make your Monday morning much more major.
YouTube Preview ImageFar-Out Fangtooth – The Thorns: Philly’s Far-Out Fangtooth plan to drop a 7-incher on Hozac in early January, and this track will be on it. Fangtooth’s playing with Harsh Vibes and Lantern at Level Room on January 15. See ya there?

Monday, December 26th, 2011 Posted in Features, Shows | No Comments »

December 23rd, 2011

Elliott Sharp’s Top 10 Local Albums Of 2011

There were a lot of great albums released by Philadelphia musicians this year, but these are my personal favorites. While I didn’t intentionally make a diverse list, I think these selections represent the diversity of Philly’s music scene (with the exception of things that fit easily into the “indie” category). What am I missing? What were your faves?

1. Meek Mill – Dreamchasers (DatPiff DL) Taking Philly’s strong street-rap tradition into the future and onto the airwaves, where his Rick Ross collab “Ima Boss” blazed all year-long. WATCH:House Party

2. +HIRS+ - Worship (Self-Released): An especially vile one sided 7-inch with 9 satanic/kill tracks. You can listen to the whole thing six times in under 30 minutes. STREAM: Worship.

3. Satanized – Technical Virginity (Skin Graft): Heavy, noisy, treble-wielding and highly confrontational rawkus-prone outfit that made me feel like I was being buried alive each time I saw them play. STREAM:Arnaud de Verniolle

4. Orrin Evans – Captain Black Big Band (Posi-Tone): The most talented jazz composer-performer from Philly in recent years brought together a massive group of Philly and NYC sluggers for the large ensemble dates captured here. WATCH: “Big Jimmy

5. Inzinzac – Inzinzac (High Two): Forty-eight minutes of brutal (but thoughtful) power-jazz skronk on this young trio’s debut album that wonderfully articulates Philly’s strange out-jazz/metal crossover phenom. STREAM:71

6. Lantern – Stranger I Come, Stranger I Leave (Night People): Rabid, gut-punching punk-rock with traces of psych fresh outta the bowels of wherever that sorta stuff comes from. WATCH:I Don’t Know

7. Lushlife – No More Golden Days (Bandcamp DL): It’s all sharp spit and smooooothed-out cloud production on the latest mixtape by this South Philly MC/Producer who’s destined for much bigger stages. STREAM: No More Golden Days.

8. On The Water - Anchor (Bandcamp DL): A gnarly West Philly lo-fi folk album packed with celebratory sing-along burners that’ll have you reaching for whiskey and a warm body simultaneously. STREAM: Anchor.

9. The War On Drugs – Slave Ambient (Secretly Canadian) The most important rock-n-roll band in the United States Of America. Yeah, I said it. WATCH:Baby Missiles

10. Young Chris – The Revival (DatPiff DL): The State Property/Young Gunz veteran reconfirms he’s one of the finest, fiercest MCs the city’s ever produced. STREAM:D.O.A. (Dead On Arrival)

Friday, December 23rd, 2011 Posted in Features | No Comments »

December 22nd, 2011

Elliott Sharp’s Top 10 Albums Of 2011

Isn’t it funny how, when music writers post their year-end lists, they tend to open with a few sentences about how stupid and subjective year-end lists are? Seems a bit wanky to me. I’m not gonna do that. Making lists and creating fun hierarchies is what humans do best. Here’s a list of my ten favorite albums of 2011, and tomorrow I’ll throw down a list of my 10 favorite albums by Philadelphia artists. Why not just make one list? Because the more the merrier! Merry Christmas! Be sure to share your faves in the comment section!

1. Matana Roberts – Coin Coin Chapter One: Les Gens De Couleur Libre (Constellation) The New York City saxophonist dropped the only album this year to make me cry. LISTEN: “Rise”

2. Waka Flocka Flame – DuFlocka Rant V.1: 10 Toes Down (Self-Released) The Atlanta trap rapper’s wildest 2011 mixtape. Hurrr! Brick Squad Monopoly is my favorite monopoly. LISTEN: “I’m From Grove Street”

3. Wolves In the Throne Room – Celestial Lineage (Southern Lord) The Pacific Northwest’s black metal gods dined hard on the flesh of kings. LISTEN: “Astral Blood”

4. Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne (Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella/Roc Nation) 99 problems but the 99% ain’t one. WATCH: “Otis”

5. Bill Callahan – Apocalypse (Drag City) The end isn’t near, it’s now, and the singer-songwriter we once called Smog told us all about it. LISTEN: “Universal Supplicant”

6. Lil B – Illusions Of Grandeur (Self-Released) The Based God’s most delusional mixtape of the year. Yup, more cray than Im Gay/Im Happy. WATCH: “Illusions Of Grandeur”

7. Colin Stetson – New History of Warfare Volume 2: Judges (Constellation) The avant-garde saxophonist from Montreal that even indie-squares learned to love. LISTEN: “Red Horse (Judges II)”

8. Shabazz Palaces – Black Up (Sub Pop) Far-out hip-hop for the lost children of Sun Ra realized by former Digable Planets member Butterfly. WATCH: “Black Up”

9. Death Grips – Exmilitary (Third Worlds) The pissed off American kids brutally slashed everything with post-everything daggers. WATCH: “Spread Eagle Cross The Block”

10. Iceage – New Brigade (What’s Your Rupture) The pissed off Denmark kids brutally slashed everything with punk-rock daggers. WATCH: “New Brigade”

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 Posted in Features, Reviews | No Comments »

December 21st, 2011

This Week In Print: Mi Hed Ur Hed, RYAT, Burnin’, Strummerville Benefit, Christmas Albums, and Dreamies’ “Auralgraphic Entertainment”

PW’s latest print issue hit the streets today. Here’s what’s in the music section.
pwCover_122111Concert Calendar, Dec. 21-27: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Colder weather, fewer shows. But PW’s music writers got your back, recommending concerts this week by local jazz-rock squad Mi Hed Ur Hed, a Birds Of Maya side-project called Burnin’, ex-Philadelphia pop duo RYAT, and Zappa nuts Project/Object.

Critic’s Pick: “What better way to seize the seasonal spirit than by celebrating punk’s patron saint—Joe Strummer—and contributing to his namesake charity, which, naturally, helps young, broke musicians make their mark,” writes Chris Parker about the Strummerville Benefit going down Thursday night at North Star Bar with performances by Taggart, Mean Streets, the Successful Failures and more.

On The Record: In less time than it takes to microwave egg nog, Bill Chenevert reviews Christmas albums by She & Him, Justin Bieber, Erin McKeown and more.

Forgotten Philadelphia: Dreamies: “If you’ve ever had the good fortune to get an earful of Auralgraphic Entertainment —the record Bill Holt recorded in a Delaware County basement circa 1973 under the moniker Dreamies—you’d imagine the guy was born in a perpetual lotus position, drinking mushroom tea and talking to the cosmos like it was his Auntie Mable,” writes PW’s Tony Rettman. “But nothing could be further from the truth.” In this column, Rettman looks back at Auralgraphic Entertainment and catches up with Holt to talk about his current work. 

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011 Posted in Features, News, Shows | No Comments »

December 16th, 2011

Q&A With Two Diehard Rammstein Fans

I wrote something about Rammstein earlier this week. The German band, most known for their track “Du Hast,” just released a massive retrospective album called Made In Germany. After saying that the band isn’t very good, I claimed they were cashing in on the hype surrounding electronic music this year. I pissed off a few fans. Someone named Rob left the following comment.

“These guys are pioneers in the music industry, on the same level as Mozart or Beethoven, because they’ve changed the way their type of music is seen. So many bands will tell you that they were influenced by Rammstein. To downplay their achievements even for a moment, just because you’re not a fan of their sound, is just bad journalism.”

If I got a dollar for every time someone described something I’ve written as “bad journalism” I’d have about $5, and then I’d be well on my way to getting a sandwich. Anyway, in the post, I urged Rammstein fans to holler at me if they wanted to do an interview. As I’m clearly not a fan of the band, and I don’t understand why people love them so much, it seemed reasonable to ask a hardcore devotee to share his or her perspective. So, I hooked up with two of the commenters via email to talk about Rammstein: Dave Pitcher, a 34-year-old from Ontario, Canada, and Ann Schnitz, a 50-year-old from Malvern, Pa. Here’s what they had to say.

Friday, December 16th, 2011 Posted in Features | 6 Comments »

December 15th, 2011

This Week Out Print: Schoolly D, Work Drugs, Birds Of Maya, Spank Rock, M Ax Noi Mach, And Stay Home

Too much music happens in Philly to fit it all in print. Here’s a rundown of this week’s recommended concerts that didn’t make it onto the pages of the magazine.
Thursday, December 15: Philebrity is a website based in Philadelphia that has a lot of opinions on various things. The website hosts an awards ceremony every year for awards like “General Excellence In Writing For A City Publication,” for which they nominate people like Philadelphia Weekly’s Tara Murtha. Yeah, that’s right, so go vote. It’s tonight at Trocadero, and there are a few music performances by OG gangster rapper Schoolly D, indie/hip-hop MC Lushlife, rockers/poppers Work Drugs and more. (8pm. Free. Trocadero, 1003 Arch Street).

Friday, December 16: Philly’s most brutal psych-rock outfit Birds Of Maya’s been on the back-burner a bit recently because band member Mike Polizze’s been mad-busy with his other project, Purling Hiss. But the Birds are still at it and killing it and they perform tonight at Little Bar with Americana/rockers Tin Horses, the new thang led by Purling Hiss bassist Keil Everett. (9pm. $6. Little Bar, 738 S. 8th Street). [Update: Also on the bill tonight: True Gold. They have a split 12" coming out soon with fellow Philly natives Acid Kicks. Listen to True Gold here.]

Saturday, December 17: PW Music Editor Brian McManus had this to say about Spank Rock’s latest album, Everything Is Boring & Everyone Is A Fucking Liar: “That title! So cynical. So dark. So true . Anyone who’s spent any time at all on the type of late-night benders Spank Rock emcee Naeem Juwan traffics in and raps about on Boring highlights like the bumping “DTF DADT” or “Energy” knows the feeling. You’re the last man standing. The guilt starts. The dark thoughts start to creep in. Who am I and what am I doing with my life? You’ll recover. You hope.” Tonight Spank Rock play Voyeur via Making Time, and tomorrow’s gonna be one of those recovery days… (9pm. $2-10. Voyeur, 1221 St. James Street).

Sunday, December 18: Whether you like it or not, tonight you’re gonna get a big fix of hardcore at The Barbary thanks to Sheer Terror, Maximum Penalty, War Hungry, Measured In Grey, and Vanished. Maybe bring a helmet? (6pm. $15. The Barbary, 951 N. Frankford Avenue).

Monday, December 19: M Ax Noi Mach is the solo project of Philadelphian Rob Francisco. He makes disturbing amounts of death exit speakers and enter your brain, stroking your brain, killing your brain. Tonight he plays Little Bar with Terrorism and FSS + Lussuria. The M Ax Noi Mach video below’s for a song called “Organs” from a tape called Creeper. Video shot in Kensington. (9pm. $?. Little Bar, 738 S. 8th Street).

YouTube Preview Image

Tuesday, December 20: Can I offer you some advice? Stay home tonight.

Wednesday, December 21: Can I offer you one more tiny bit of advice? Stay home tonight. Actually, go shopping. Buy something for your loved ones. It’s Christmas, or whatever you wanna call it! Live music’s gonna be slim over the next week, so don’t get your hopes up. Spend time with the fam and the friends.

Thursday, December 15th, 2011 Posted in Features, Shows | No Comments »
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