Darkside

Darkside & Opinions on tUnE-yArDs

Electronic duo Darkside join Jim and Greg for an interview and live performance. Later they review a new album by experimental pop artist Tune-Yards.

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Music News

Last month, Jim and Greg shared the news that house music godfather Frankie Knuckles died. Now, sadly, another giant of the genre has left us. Rashad Harden, aka DJ Rashad, was a pioneering dancer and producer of a particularly sizzling style of dance music known as Footwork: a metamorphosis of the house sound that Frankie Knuckles helped establish in the 1970's and '80s and juke style, Footwork pushes the beats per minute from around 125 to upwards of 165, encouraging a uniquely athletic style of dancing. The uptick in tempo makes sense as Harden got his start dancing to house and juke music on Chicago street corners in the 1990's. Over time, other producers have joined the footwork fray, but DJ Rashad's always managed to keep things original, and often abstract, so that his songs were great to listen both at the club, and at home with headphones on. In remembrance of DJ Rashad, Jim and Greg play his landmark single "Let It Go."

Fans of streaming music and movies should pay heed to recent developments concerning Net Neutrality. For those not familiar, Jim explains that Net Neutrality is the idea that all data on the Internet, regardless of origin or destination, should be seen as equal and treated the same by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The Federal Communications Commission, however, is causing a stir by proposing new rules that go against that concept. One rule in particular would let those who can afford to, pay ISPs for the privilege of having their content distributed to consumers faster than other those who don‘t or can’t pay. The Future of Music Coalition warns that these new rules would carve the Internet“into a fast lane for well-heeled corporations and a dirt road for everyone else.”Jim and Greg are nervous what this will mean for the music industry and will be keeping a close eye on what happens to Net Neutrality.

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Darkside

Jim and Greg joined by the duo Darkside, featuring electronic artist electronic artist Nicholas Jaar and multi-instrumentalist Dave Harrington. They first met while they were both students at Brown University. Harrington first worked with Jaar as a musician in his band during a solo tour, and then on Jaar's 2011 breakout album, Space Is Only Noise. The two musicians talk to Jim and Greg about writing songs that defy the genre definitions of electronica, jazz, funk & classical music. They also explain the route of the band's name, which involved a freak incident at a Berlin hotel. Plus, they play two tracks from Darkside's critically acclaimed 2013 album Psychic.

reviewNikki NackNikki Nack available on iTunes

tUnE-yArDs Nikki Nack

Merrill Garbus, the creative force behind tUnE-yArDs, is back from Haiti with adventurous new rhythms and a whole lot to talk about. The result is her third album, Nikki Nack. Expectations for this release were high for Jim and Greg, who lauded 2011's W H O K I L L, and were wowed by the band's live performance on Sound Opinions. But Garbus has outdone herself on Nikki Nack. Greg loves the unconventional Haitian percussion tapping underneath as Garbus 's voice, an instrument in its own right, explores deep, dark themes with a soaring“ecstasy.”Jim agrees, only taking issue with the cannibalistic interlude, "Why Do We Dine on the Tots?," a quirky skit adapted from Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" that lets Garbus showcase her puppeteer training. Otherwise, Jim admires the empathy for women and the poor that comes through in these experimental pop songs, and thinks that Garbus got more out of her Haitian visit than Arcade Fire did. Both critics will Buy It.

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“I Met Him on a Sunday”Laura Nyro

Laura Nyro is an artist we don't talk about enough, says Greg. Best known for writing songs that others made famous, like Three Dog Night's "Eli's Coming" and The 5th Dimension's "Wedding Bell Blues," Nyro died young in 1997 at age 49. But Greg insists that her own records are criminally overlooked — namely her fifth, Gonna Take a Miracle, an all-covers album of songs that Nyro listened to growing up in the Bronx. For that album, she enlisted as collaborator (and chef) Patti LaBelle, who in turn brought onboard her Labelle bandmates Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash. The result was an extraordinary record, produced by the legendary duo of Gamble and Huff. Greg picks the group's (mostly) a capella rendition of The Shirelles' "I Met Him on a Sunday" to jazz up the Desert Island.

Featured Songs

  1. DJ Rashad, Let U No, Double Cup, Hyperdub, 2013
  2. DJ Rashad, Let It Go, Rollin', Hyperdub, 2013
  3. Pearl Jam, Not For You, Vitalogy, Epic, 1994
  4. Nicolas Jaar, Colomb, Space Is Only Noise, Circus Company, 2010
  5. Darkside, Paper Trails (Live on Sound Opinions), Psychic, Matador, 2013
  6. Darkside, Freak, Go Home, Psychic, Matador, 2013
  7. Darkside, Golden Arrow, Psychic, Matador, 2013
  8. Darkside, The Only Shrine I've Seen, Psychic, Matador, 2013
  9. Darkside, Heart, Psychic, Matador, 2013
  10. Darkside, Freak, Go Home (Live on Sound Opinions), Psychic, Matador, 2013
  11. Darkside, Metatron, Psychic, Matador, 2013
  12. tUnE-yArDs, Water Fountain, Nikki Nack, 4AD, 2014
  13. tUnE-yArDs, Hey Life, Nikki Nack, 4AD, 2014
  14. tUnE-yArDs, Find a New Way, Nikki Nack, 4AD, 2014
  15. tUnE-yArDs, Why Do We Dine on the Tots? (Interlude), Nikki Nack, 4AD, 2014
  16. Laura Nyro, I Met Him on a Sunday, Gonna Take a Miracle, Columbia, 1971
  17. Blood Orange, Uncle Ace (a/just/ted remix), Cupid Deluxe, Domino, 2013
  18. Barbra Streisand, Calling You, The Movie Album, Columbia, 2003
  19. Eric Clapton, Tears in Heaven, Rush (Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack), Reprise, 1992
  20. Dionne Warwick, Walk on By, Make Way for Dionne Warwick, Collectors' Choice, 1964
  21. Samuel Barber, Adagio for Strings, Op. 11, Barber: Adagio for Strings, Sony, 1997
  22. Bread, Everything I Own, Baby I'm-A Want You, Elektra, 1972
  23. Sarah McLachlan, When She Loved Me, Toy Story 2, Disney, 1999

Footnotes

facebook.com DJ Rashad chicagotribune.com Greg's DJ Rashad obituary youtube.com Footwork savetheinternet.com Net Neutrality futureofmusic.org Future of Music Coalition futureofmusic.org FOMC on Net Neutrality soundopinions.org Darkside makes Greg's list darksideusa.com Darkside soundopinions.org tUnE-yArDs on Sound Opinions sfweekly.com Whokill: Critics' Fave thetalkhouse.com Merrill Garbus visits Haiti wbez.org Jim's tUnE-yArDs review wikipedia.org Haitian vodou drums art-bin.com“A Modest Proposal” theatlantic.com Arcade Fire exploit Haiti? allmusic.com Laura Nyro nytimes.com Nyro's obit rockhall.com Gamble & Huff youtube.com Hear“I Met Him on a Sunday”