This November, Be Thankful for Girl Talk

Girl Talk in '08, and how you should enjoy All Day

Girl Talk is back, and so is MES. There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't be dancing like a maniac right now.

And what better way to get back to updating MES than to post something that seems to incorporate all popular American music since the 60's? Despite the overwhelming menagerie of samples, Gregg Gillis's music is simple, tremendous fun. All Day is like the other GT albums in that it contains more WTF pairings per minute than his name contains G's per full name - an achievement not in any way to be snuffed at, but it's longer and somehow more cohesive than the first two. I've had it on repeat for several cycles now, and my head bobs are getting progressively more violent.

It just works, it works, it works, it works and then it works a little better. I'd go so far as to say it's the best free-album-released-on-a-Monday EVER.

download here (FO FREE and legally, despite what the name suggests), stream below

Three Beautiful Visuals that Accompany Great Songs

I'm not calling "music videos" of high/artistic quality "music videos" anymore. That calls to mind rappers with models and pop singers walking down streets lip synching into a camera, and that's not what I want you to think of when I introduce these visuals.

Cinnamon Chasers - Luv Deluxe

Winner of "Best Music Video" at South by Southwest 2010 (a.k.a. SXSW), "Luv Deluxe" is a song that I highly recommend playing around 2AM on steamy nighttime summer roads with the windows down. The visual tells the story that everyone imagines themselves at the center of as a teenager, but never lives out. Cinnamon Chasers have created a remarkably full song that will resonate with anyone who ever wondered what could happen if they picked up their keys and drove west.

Janelle Monae - Cold War

This video is so intimate it borders on discomfort. I felt as though I was violating Monae's privacy by watching all the through the video. On this striking accompaniment for a beautiful song, Monae sings:

I'm trying to find my peace; I was made to believe there's something wrong with me, and it hurts my heart. Lord have mercy, ain't it plain to see?

Yes it is, Ms. Monae. We don't need cuts to scenes of cliché domestic violence images to explain the emotion, and the director refuses to fall into that trap, letting Monae's tearful face and soulful voice cary it. It does so much more work emotionally then, say, a hobbit and Megan Fox can.

Kanye West - Power

Yes this is the second straight post with this song in it, but this video really has no precedent for what it's trying to do. It's laden with classical symbolism, and only lasts 90 seconds. While 808's crossed the line between different musical genres, this effectively marches straight through three different genres of art. The director, visual artist Marco Brambilla, said of the video to MTV (which provided the ultimate comedic juxtaposition by premiering this after Jersey Shore):

“It didn’t answer all the questions,” he added. “It just becomes more provocative and a little bit more tense at the end, because it cuts away just before the action within it resolves itself, so it kind of leaves you with the feeling that something’s about to happen.”

I am unspeakably excited for his album, which is now due out in November, and apparently will no longer be called Good Ass Job. A decision I agree with, as the former title sounds way too domestic to have a song like "Power" on it.

Summer Time

Since the last post here, somebody moved to Miami, Spanish deportes fans have had a lot to cheer about, and MES favorite Big Boi dropped an apparently stellar album (I haven't had time to give it a proper listen). It's the summertime and I'm putting in nine to five for the Man so I haven't had much time for new music, movies, ect. But with the World Cup over I've found time to listen to enough new stuff to put together this summer-themed post.

Please Note: Each of these songs, especially the last three, deserve their own feature-length article, so please bear with me as I pile them all into one, unworthy weblog post.

All Summer - Kid Cudi, Best Coast, and Rostam Batmanglij (of Vampire Weekend)

Converse thought that the kinds people of people who listen to these three artists didn't wear Chuck Taylors enough so they commissioned them to do a song together. Anyways it's a fantastic union and the result is a catchy, laid back song that bears the trademark styles of each artist seamlessly. It's a song that fits naturally with memories of late night drives with windows down. It's warm, pleasant, and you'll want to hear it again.

The music video really sucks, and it's the first time I've really felt a music video detracted from a song. So I post the video above mostly for the sounds and to have something up there, but try and listen to it sans Converse provided visuals (free MP3 here or hit the SoundCloud stream below). The images of summer the song calls to mind on its own are more than sufficient.


Power - Kanye West

This is new shit for that guy from Chicago who dropped out of college or whatever to make music. This song is similar to Kanye's previous work in that it's better then almost all other contemporary hip-hop or pop and makes defending the genre as an art easier. And you can get into like all the drunk people who don't give a shit about hip-hop as art when you're maybe a bit intoxicated and you don't give a shit about anything. And that's what good music does.

Mr. West has the industry on his proverbial male reproductive organ, and he knows it. "No one man should have all that power," Ye says in the song. Maybe not, but I'm glad he has it and not someone else. His new album is supposedly called Good Ass Job, and supposedly comes out September 14th (the same day that Cudi's new album supposedly comes out).

Drunk Girls - LCD Soundsystem

Continuing on the inebriation and music theme, we have this gem from LCD Soundsytem, who have a long history of making excellent tunes, and this is supposedly (nothing is certain) the last album from mastermind James McMurphy under the guise of LCD Soundsystem. Savor this last, tasty album. (Entitled This is Happening and it came out earlier this year.)

This is one of those songs that slowly builds on itself until it all falls over in an excellent pile of noise towards the end of the track. A lot of their songs use this pattern quite successfully, but this one is a bit shorter than their norm and perhaps more digestible for the average listener. I could have put any one of the songs from the most recent album up here, but I felt this fit the mood of the post best. Check the whole thing out, please. (This Is Happening - LCD Soundsystem)

Summertime Clothes - Animal Collective

This ain't new (it came out in January 2009), I know, but it needs to be here.

I love the lyrics of the song. I love the harmonies. I love all the crazy loops. Mostly though, I love the faceless dancers in eyeball things in the video. It all combines into something that perfectly conveys a feeling that everyone loves and knows. "A voice from the clock says you're not gonna sleep for a while; my bed is a pool and the wall is on fire." Indeed.

If you haven't been listening to Merriweather Post Pavillion for a year and a half now, get on it.

When the sun goes down we'll go out again!

Under the Radar

Pitchfork recently wrote an essay refuting the popular idea that hip-hop is "dead." The insightful and worthwhile piece concludes that the genre is thriving, just maybe not as much in the mainstream. "In the end, hip-hop is recalibrating, from a pop sensation back into an underground movement," writer Tom Breihand concludes. I couldn't agree more.

Following that idea, I wanted to feature two way-under-the-radar hip-hop acts and another that the aforementioned article touches on several times.


Chicago born emcee and producer Joshua "iRock" Adams makes music that sounds has an effortless but engrossing feel to it. His first mixtape, Demo THAT, shows that he is a well rounded hip-hop artist as he goes in with a quiet but confident flow that sticks to the beats, that he made, quite well.

It is on the beats though where Adams really shines brightest. They have a completely fresh sound, feature a lot instrumentation, and would make even the worst rapper sound respectable. The beats are good enough that they hold up incredibly well as stand-alone instrumentals. Go down the playlist on his page, and try not to nod your head to those beats. The tracks have a rich, layered sound that is effortless to enjoy. By the time you reach the end of the playlist, you completely forget that you were listening to instrumentals for hip-hop songs. These beats are full of emotion, and it will take a formidable rapper to do them justice.

Isaiah & Hovey

I had sung this Richmond based duo's praises before when I heard their astounding first two tracks, but now they're back with their first album, Dante's Love Inferno Machine (which you can download here).

Much like the first two songs, the album has a very polished feel. Isaiah's flow feels effortless and his witticisms are on point, especially in the second half of the album. Similarly, Hovey is making beats with a very clean sound. He uses a wide variety of samples and sounds that provide a consistently captivating for for Isaiah's smooth voice.


This Huntsville, Alabama based outfit have a big, new, but unmistakably southern sound. The whole album is smooth as any hip-hop you'll ever hear, with smooth flows and entrancing beats. Pay special attention to the tracks produced by Block Beataz (listen to that whole playlist, it's damn good), whose beats feel somewhat outer-spacey while still keeping things catchy as anything.

G-Side represent a scene in Huntsville and the general south that is quickly growing and spitting out all kinds of great artist and songs (see Jackie Chain's "Rollin'" which is also produced by Block Beataz). Check out their most recent track that they recorded while in Norway earlier this year, their '09 mixtape, Huntsville International, and their '08 album, Starshipz and Rocketz. Both are off aptly named Huntsville label Slow Motion Sounds.


MacGruber: 5/21

More than a few years have passed since Saturday Night Live had a sketch funny and beloved enough to adapt it for the silver screen. Now, Will Forte and Kristen Wiig bring MacGruber, a recurring sketch about a mostly-useless bomb-diffuser, to life. If the trailer and early reviews are any indication, the film just might be enough to revive the SNL movie, a definite dying breed.

-By Sara Wakefield