‘None Shall Pass’ Up THIS Tour

Influential indie rap rogue Aesop Rock is at it again. On the heels of his critically acclaimed release None Shall Pass, he’s announced a tour that includes dates throughout August and September, with the likes of Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz. What better way to wind down the days of summer, and begin the fall season fresh?

What’s more, A-R and Blockhead have begun co-writing a blog on the Def Jux website, so now we can all get a feel of what he’s thinking on a more personal level. Keep an eye out for more news to come, and check out the dates below to grab a show near you!

MP3: Aesop Rock – None Shall Pass

Aesop Rock Fall 2008 Tour Dates:
08-15 Boston, MA – Roxy Theatre
08-16 New Haven, CT – Toad’s Place
08-17 Brooklyn, NY – McCarren Pool Party
08-19 Philadelphia, PA – Trocadero
08-20 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
08-22 Columbus, OH – Skully’s
08-23 Chicago, IL – Abbey Pub
08-25 Sioux Falls, SD – Nutty’s

09-12 Pomona, CA – Glass House
09-13 Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour
09-14 Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour
09-15 Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour
09-17 San Diego, CA – Belly Up
09-18 Fresno, CA – The Exit
09-19 San Luis Obispo, CA – The Brewery
09-20 San Francisco, CA – Treasure Island Festival
09-22 Bend, OR – Domino

Takka This!

It’s hard to really believe anything until you read it in the NEW YORK TIMES. Fortunately for us all, we can now rest easy in the thought that Indie revelers Takka Takka are a verified truth. How, you ask? Well, chief critic and oft-PBS News Hour correspondent Jon Pareles has described the phenomenon to us: “Takka Takka gets the guitar-picking patterns on its album ‘Migration’ from all over: Minimalism and math-rock, Africa and Indonesia, funk and folk and psychedelia, often over beats that sound like rock anthems burnished smooth by the notes pelting above.”

Now, if that sounds awesome, just try listening to Migration -12 solid tracks of beautiful eeriness, in that mellow, introspective kind of delivery that the Takkas have mastered. Referring once again to the words of Pareles for futher elaboration: “The band members sing as if to themselves, murmuring glimpses of catastrophe…the music is rock as meditation, with orderly repetition trying to keep the deepest fears at bay.” Deep and informative as they are, we will abide.

Let it be scripted in the history books, for it is now a matter of record…thanks, NYT.

MP3: Takka Takka – Everybody Say

James Brown Feels Good, But We Knew That He Would

The industry-silencing news of the Godfather of Soul’s passing almost two years ago left a large gap in a genre of music still adored today. What can one do? To dub him a pioneer, a man who wore his heart on his sleeve for the people, would be an understatement. Fortunately for James Brown fans young and old, this owner of one of the 4 corners of funk is being renewed, to the tune of a digitally remastered re-release titled Soul Syndrome.

The album was originally recorded in 1980 as a funk/disco fusion work, and includes six tracks, some of which were ranked on the Billboard Black singles charts back in the day. Due out August 12th via Henry Stone Music, it represents the late great J-B in a way that only the legend himself could explain had he been here today. It’s basically Stone’s vision to recreate Brown to a new audience in a new way, and for that we’re grateful.

Raise the bar if you need to, but this album won’t disappoint-after all, this is JAMES BROWN we’re talking about here. Did we mention this album is by James Brown?

Shine On You, Amy Ray

Atlanta-based songwriter and Rind frequenter Amy Ray just can’t stop. She just released her third solo record Didn’t It Feel Kinder last week, Amy Ray TV is up and running, and she’s still managing to play live shows too! As for the album, it’s chock-full of goodies, including contributions from Kaia Wilson of Team Dresch, Melissa York, Madonna-collaborator Tomi Martin, Brandi Carlile, and the recording help of Greg Griffith (The Butchies, Le Tigre).

Recently, Ms. Ray has chatted with the likes of AfterEllen and Queerty, discussing her music, The L Word, and identity politics. She also performed in an intimate atmosphere at Housing Works in NYC Thursday night, part of which can be seen on her extremely convenient Amy Ray TV channel, along with a whole slew of other performances. “Birds Of A Feather” MP3 below for your listening pleasure.

MP3: Amy Ray – Birds Of A Feather

Yosef For Yo’ Self

Some things just aren’t meant to be understood-things like quantum physics, Matthew McConaughey, and Splenda. How do they make sugar that has no calories, anyway!?! No matter, at times, world music can seem to be one of those things. To cross cultures can be a devastating feat to conquer, let alone to do it well. Israeli triple threat Tomer Yosef (comedian/actor/musician and touring member of Balkan Beat Box) puts all doubts to miserable shame with Laughing Underground , his valiant sophomore effort via JDub Records , set to come out later this month.

In the styles of other Rind faves DeLeon , Yosef takes something of a foreign entity and turns it into an American-fused artform; something immediately captivating to many an audience. Here’s where the true definition of “World Music” really comes into play: when you create a mixture of Reggae, Rock, Salsa, and just about any other kind of music imaginable to the human mind, you might come close to Tomer Yosef. When you take reggae free-styling and throw in some piano reminiscent of Dr. Dog and honky tonk (“Don’t Fly Away”), you might even be closer yet. The salsa flavor of “What’s Wrong” certainly does something for the release as well.

Laughing Underground definitely takes the genre to a new level, and does it with the kind of style that only a triple B (reminder: Balkan Beat Box) contributor can accomplish. So go out, blaze trails, and see for yourself what this guy is all about-otherwise, you’re missin’ out! And so what if Splenda isn’t such a mystery after all…

MP3: Tomer Yosef – Underground