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Tour De Vaap

A compilation of music from 417

Monthly Archives: May 2013

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Big L should be turning 39 today. Here is a freestyle he did in ’95 on the Stretch & Bobbito show with Jay-Z. Keep in mind Jay didn’t drop Reasonable Doubt until ’96. I’ll let the two legends speak for themselves on this one. RIP to a master cut down in his prime.

-Elmar


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Out of all the souvenirs I thought I’d pick up as I traveled around Europe, music was not one of them.  However, that’s exactly what happened with Lotte Van Dijck and Amsterdam.  While sitting in a little shop with a friend, I heard the quiet chime of bells and a smooth voice.  Not recognizing the voice, or the language for that matter, I asked a women who works there to write the name down for me.  She told me that she was a sort of dutch folk singer, who sometimes sang in english and was pretty popular there.  Listening to Lotte Van Dijck feels like something surprisingly warm and familier (even if you don’t speak dutch).  Her voice is a sweet lull that blends folk with pop, rock and even a little bit of jazz.  For a taste, check out a few songs from her studio album, Empty Places in the City, and more.

 

Lotte Van Dijck – Unfold

Lotte Van Dijck – De Regen

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As my time in Paris comes to a close, it seems I’m trapped in a perpetually fall.  It’s been raining for the past two weeks and it doesn’t look like it’s gonna clear up.  It seems as though Paris is skipping right over spring and I’ll return to the U.S. as summer begins.  In conclusion I’m not going to see Paris in the spring, but if there’s one band that can help me fight through the cold, the darkness, and the rain it’s Edward Sharpe.  Last summer, they released their sophomore album Here.  Rumor had it that they recorded many more songs than they could fit on the album and that we’d soon see another album with some new songs and some spill over.  A few days ago, the band released their first hint at this new album with the single “Better Days.”  It’s an uplifting song about looking into someones eyes and having all your troubles melt away, hating on negative thoughts and praising the positive.  The song also shows the band delving deeper into soul and gospel than ever before.  It’s a powerful transformation that fits the band like a proud, happy dancing glove.  I’m already forgetting about the rain.  Listen to the single below and look for the self-titled album out June 23rd.

-M. Kauf

 

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Better Days

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It’s easy to think of The Doors as a one man band, with Jim Morison as the star of the show.  And it is true that Morrison was incredibly talented and put a face to The Doors that has gone down in rock history.  But The Doors were so much more than that and yesterday a large part of that amazing group, keyboardist Ray Manzarek died.  It’s hard to picture The Doors  without thinking of the astounding keyboard skills of Manzarek.  Whether it’s the hectic and catchy sounds of “Light My Fire” or the cool misty solos on “Rider on the Storm” it’s hard to picture The Doors without that distinctive keyboard.  And heck, the band probably wouldn’t even exist without Manzarek, who proved himself to be a great muse for Morison and convinced him to join the group in the first place.  You could even say that Manzarek was two members of the band, the keyboardist and the bass player, since he played both parts on his electric keys.  The Doors will always have a special place in my heart.  They were one of the first bands I ever really listened to with appreciation and envy.  The first band for which I (proudly) owned the entire studio discography.  And a large part of that was the musical prowess of Manzarek, the glue that helped hold the band together as they created some of the best music of all time.  Just listen to “Light My Fire” again and it’s impossible not to see what a truly great talent was lost.

-M. Kauf

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I’m a big fan of the show Adventure Time, not only for it’s incredibly clever plot line that speaks to all age groups but sometimes for it’s amazing songs.  In the latest episode, Finn and Jake’s adorable robotic friend BMO shares his favorite song, “No Wonder I.”  Who knew BMO has such amazing taste?  This single off of Washington band LAKE‘s upcoming album Circular Doorway is a fuzzy mellow ball of sweet sweet music.  Singer Ashley Eriksson floats in like the scent of fresh spring flowers floating through the wind carrying nothing but good vibes and love.  Accompanied by a gentle yet steady drumbeat, like some happy creature skipping down the sidewalk, this song is as catchy as they come.  Know wonder BMO loves this song.  Check it out below and hear more by the band here.

-M. Kauf

 

LAKE – No Wonder I

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It’s hard for me to describe Har Mar Superstar in any sort of succinct manner.  He’s a chubby, long-haired dude from Minnesota who likes to take off his clothes during shows and sing R&B.  But there’s so much more than that.  Har Mar (aka Sean Tillman) has one of the most powerful R&B (or music in general) voices I’ve heard in a very long time.  He’s got the retro sound down pat and he knows how to have fun with it.  But it’s the voice that really gets to me.  From the first heart-wrenching scream of “Lady you shot me!” at the beginning of the song, through the up tempo beats and back to the sultry sound of heartbreak, Har Mar Superstar wipes away all the goofy gimmicks and really lives up to the last word of his alias.  For a truly powerful taste of R&B with a hint of soul, check out his latest album Bye Bye 17, which came out last month and listen to the single above.

 -M. Kauf

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…And we’re back.  There have been lots of travels and adventure in the last week or so, but now we’re here and we’ve picked up some new music along the way.  One such band is Secret Colours.  Combining a retro psychedelic sound with a twist of 90s rock, this band knows how to make a slick single.  A simple riff and a quiet voice turn into a sort of mantra that travels throughout the song, keeping it grounded throughout its electronic twists and turns and chill drumbeats.  It’s not often a song can take the heavy sounds of the 60s and slide them into a dark velvety package but “Blackhole” is just that.  Check out the strange and retro video for the single above, and look for their sophomore album, Peach May 28th.

-M. Kauf

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