Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Thank You For Your Attention!

Normal transmissions will resume in a few days. I give my apologies, but shit's hectic. In the mean time, listen to Refused's The Shape of Punk To Come and buy cinnamon pop tarts.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nine Inch Nails Is Dead + The Future of the Music Industry

As reported on Prefix today, it looks like Trent Reznor will be retiring the Nine Inch Nails brand in the very near future. Reznor posted a message on the NIN official webpage stating that he's "been thinking for some time now it's time to make NIN disappear for a while [...] After some thought, we decided to book a last run of shows across the globe this year."

The tour will be with the original members of Jane's Addiction, authors of the essential and controversial 80's classic Nothing's Shocking. The dates of the tour have not been set yet, but in the meantime you can catch Trent down undah and headlining Bonnaroo this June.

If this message really does mean the end of Nine Inch Nails, thanks are due to Trent Reznor. The man has done more for the empowerment of independent musicians in the post-Napster era than anyone else, releasing albums for free while creating a business strategy that keeps a steady stream of cash coming his way without the intervention of a record label.

Reznor's independent release approach has been praised as the future of the music industry and the most viable and intelligent way to get music out to the fans:

If Trent's path is followed, not only will the music industry survive -- it will flourish. It just makes record labels useless and enables artists to have something close to complete artistic control, which all sounds like a just paradise to me. I pressed the question of this brave new future to Middleclass Haunt favorites Mogwai and heard a similar opinion:

Middleclass Haunt: Do you guys think with the new ways people are independently getting music out to the fans and seeing all of the profit for it (i.e. Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails) that you'll change the way you put your music out? I've read your rant on In Rainbows, Stuart, and you seemed to be supportive of that kind of distribution method, and given the fact that you guys pretty much run your own affairs with Rock Action, you have the luxury of being a little more executive in that kind of decision.

Mogwai (Stuart Braithwaite): I am a big fan of what Trent and to a lesser extent Radiohead have done (Radiohead having utilized a traditional label to distribute the physical release) as i think it really empowers musicians. It is a complex issue though as i still think that there is a role for labels to help artists get their music heard when they're starting out as this generally requires the type of investment that bands cannot afford. Most bands can barely afford crisps on their first tours. As far as we are concerned we are not in the same position as either of the bands you mentioned as we are up to the release of The Hawk Is Howling under contract to PIAS and how our records are released is not up to us as PIAS own the recordings. In the future however i'm sure we will consider alternative methods of releasing our records. We'll probably "do a Radiohead" in 2011. Always a wee bit behind the zeitgeist, i only just got into The Might Boosh for goodness sakes!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pop Hotness/Hatchmatik Makes A Disco Remix

This is the greatest song of all time.

Also, download Hatchmatik's bootleg Disco Remix of Animal Collective's instant classic "My Girls" here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Essential Live: Mogwai at All Tomorrow's Parties 2000 (4/10/00)

This is the first installment of a continuing series of high quality, live bootlegs that I will be uploading for Middleclass Haunt. Today's entry is Mogwai's set at the All Tomorrow's Parties Festival in 2000 -- it's a direct rip from an FM radio broadcast, so the audio quality is stellar, while the performance of "Mogwai Fear Satan" given here is, in my opinion, the best Mogwai's ever done.

All Tomorrow's Parties (Camber Sands at Kent, UK)
April 10th, 2000
  1. Punk Rock:
  2. Xmas Steps
  3. Year 2000 Non-Compliant Cardia
  4. Stanley Kubrick
  5. Christmas Song
  6. My Father, My King
  7. Mogwai Fear Satan
Download Here (mp3, 224 kbps VBR) (via FileFactory)

There is also a FLAC version at the Internet Archive for pretentious indie audiophiles.

Monday, February 9, 2009

"Swagga Like Us" and "15 Step" at the Grammys

Alright, so I had hope that the Grammys were finally getting their act together by nominating Radiohead, Lil Wayne, and M.I.A. for awards like Album of the Year and Record of the Year. I should have known better, I really shouldn't have gotten excited because a boring-ass choice like Robert Plant & Alison Krauss walked away with everything again.

However, Blink-182 got back together (OMGZ!1!one!) and there were some fantastic performances. Kanye West, T.I., Lil' Wayne, Jay-Z, and an extremely pregnant M.I.A. all performed "Swagga Like Us." The energy it was delivered with made it even better than the studio version, but more importantly, just how classy are those suits?

Radiohead also performed "15 Step" with the USC Marching Band:

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Best of Internet Mashups & Remixes

For the past year or so, I've been making mixes compiling my favorite mashups that I've been able to find around the net. The ones presented here defy the standard laws of mashup physics by holding up on repeated listenings and staying fun. "Sexual High" has to be the MVP of those that I've found though -- a remix pairing Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" with Radiohead's melancholy anthem, "High & Dry." It's sexy, laid back, and epic - if you can't feel good about your life while blasting that track, there's no hope for you anywhere.

For anyone who already has these mixes, Vol. 2 is expanded slightly in the version I've posted here because I decided I had to include AyPerskAy's "Luda La Vida Remix". Other than that, you guys already know what's in here.

The Best of Internet Mashups & Remixes Vol. 1
The Summer Mashup Mix

1. Overnight Star - Twista vs. Sigur Ros
2. Untitled - TLC, Ludacris & Terror Squad vs. Blink-182
3. When The Last Time I Left You - Clipse vs. The Avalanches
4. Collide You A Drank - T-Pain vs. Cloud Cult
5. My Love (Diplo Mix) - Justin Timberlake vs. LCD Soundsystem
6. Bros Before Whoas - Black Rob vs. Panda Bear
7. Yoshimi Battles Snoop Dogg - Snoop Dogg vs. The Flaming Lips
8. Jack & Diane (Pressure Mix) - John Mellencamp vs. Leftfield
9. Sexual High - Marvin Gaye vs. Radiohead
10. Bittersweet Dirt - Jay-Z vs. The Verve
11. Stuntin' Like Black Rock - Birdman & Lil Wayne vs. Black Rock
12. The Next P.I.M.P. - 50 Cent vs. Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg
13. Tambourine Reckoning - Eve vs. Radiohead
14. Smack My Bitch Up Orinoco Flow - Prodigy vs. Enya
15. Clipse Your Hands Say Wamp Wamp - Clipse vs. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
16. I'm A Flirt (Shoreline) - R. Kelly vs. Broken Social Scene
17. No More Pressure - Annie Lennox vs. Queen & David Bowie
18. Sentimental Mouths - Ludacris vs. She & Him

Download Here (via FileFactory)

The Best of Internet Mashups & Remixes Vol. 2 - Winter 2008

1. Beautiful Girls In Magic Positions - Sean Kingston vs. Patrick Wolf
2. No Karma - Jaydiohead
3. Act A Fool (Ravestradamus Remix) - Lil' Jon & Three 6 Mafia
4. Flashing Lights (DJ Benzi Refix) - Clipse
5. Boyz (Remix) [feat. Jay-Z] - M.I.A.
6. Stayin' Alive In Da Club - 50 Cent vs. The Bee Gees
7. Lean Back (DVDJ Unique Remix) [feat. The Notorious B.I.G.] - Terror Squad
8. I Get Money (Remix) [feat. P. Diddy & Jay-Z] - 50 Cent
9. What A Night For A Gangsta Party! - 2Pac & Snoop Dogg vs. Frankie Valli
10. The Year This Club Broke (My Heart) - Usher vs. Los Campesinos!
11. Mr. Me Too (Z.A.K. Remix) - Clipse
12. We Are From Venice (Lil' Weezy Ana) - Lil Wayne vs. The Bloody Beetroots
13. Alright (Ratatat Remix) - Memphis Bleek
14. Luda La Vida Remix - AyPerskAy
15. Single Foxes (Put A Wood On It) - Beyonce vs. Fleet Foxes

Download Here (via FileFactory)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bill O'Reilly Doesn't Understand Black People

There have been a lot of things about Bill O'Reilly that have ticked everyone off. His smug sense of superiority, his manipulative right-wing opinions, bonkers news spins and his offensive stubbornness could be named as a few of them. This clip, however, raises the bar. Following the inauguration of Barack Obama, Young Jeezy and Jay-Z had some enthusiastic comments to make about the occasion and it's importance to black culture, as well as some negative things to say about George W. Bush. Who could be upset at George W. Bush? Right?

Observe Bill O'Reilly and Dennis Miller's reaction - am I not the only one who thinks their diatribes are a litte racist? I mean, just listen to the way O'Reilly says "Young Jeezy". Ouch.

But it's okay because you get to listen to Jeezy and Hova whip O'Reilly in the monstrous "My President Is Black" Remix.

My President Is Black (Remix) [feat. Jay-Z] - Young Jeezy (Click To Download)

[via Nah Right & Prefix]

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Middleclass Haunt's Best Songs of 2008

It looks like the divide between singles artists and album artists continues to widen. To me, the top crop of the best songs of the year were put out on inconsistent and altogether weak albums, but the pattern makes sense. The alternative crowd pledges allegiance to the album format and the world digests music in three and a half minute increments. Lil Wayne, as usual, seems to be the anomoly who's been able to win over both the masses and the indie kids, delivering globe conquering singles in addition to well-received albums and mixtapes.

The competition for the top spot was a two horse race between "Love In This Club" and "Single Ladies," but I had to give the edge to Usher because "Love" succeeds as an R&B slow burner and a club banger at the same time, effortlessly and completely. The beat was apparently created on GarageBand as well, so bonus points have to be awarded there.
Off we go.

The Top 10 Songs of 2008

1. Love in this Club (feat. Young Jeezy) - Usher

2. Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) - Beyonce

3. A Milli - Lil Wayne

4. Kim & Jessie - M83

5. Saro - Sam Amidon

6. Let The Beat Build - Lil Wayne

7. Halfway Home - TV on the Radio

8. Alabama - Paper Route Gangstaz

9. Fatalist Palmistry - Why?

10. Watchout (Remix) - Immortal Technique

Middleclass Haunt's Best Albums of 2008

There was a lot of grumbling all around that this was one of the worst years of the decade, but I don't see that. There were gems released this past year -- they just came from slightly more obscure places than we're all used to seeing. Radiohead, Arcade Fire & M.I.A. all had the year off, so it was up to the young and the hungry to make an impression in 2008. I believe that they did.

The Top 20 Albums of 2008

1. Saturdays = Youth - M83 (Mute)

Listen: "Graveyard Girl" (YouTube), "We Own the Sky" (YouTube)
Read: AV Club
Explore: http://www.ilovem83.com/

All Is Well - Sam Amidon (Bedroom Community)

Listen: "Saro" (YouTube), "Wedding Dress" (YouTube)
Read: Lost At Sea
Explore: http://www.samamidon.com/

Microcastle - Deerhunter (Kranky)

Listen: "Nothing Ever Happened" (YouTube), "Agoraphobia" (YouTube)
Read: Pitchfork Media
Explore: http://deerhuntertheband.blogspot.com/

Dear Science - TV on the Radio (Interscope)

Listen: "Halfway Home" (YouTube), "Crying" (YouTube)
Read: Popmatters
Explore: http://www.tvontheradio.com/

The Chemistry of Common Life - Fucked Up (Matador)

Listen: "No Epiphany" (MP3), "Twice Born" (MP3)
Read: Prefix Magazine
Explore: http://lookingforgold.blogspot.com/

Uproot - DJ /rupture (The Agriculture)

Listen: "Reef" (YouTube)
Read: Pitchfork Media
Explore: http://www.negrophonic.com/
Download: The Gold Teeth Thief Mix

The Mixtape About Nothing - Wale (10 Deep)

Listen: "The Feature Heavy Song (feat. Bun B & Pusha T)" (YouTube), "The Star" (YouTube)
Read: Popmatters
Explore: http://www.walemusic.com/
Download: The Mixtape About Nothing (via 10 Deep)

Los Angeles - Flying Lotus (Warp)

Listen: "Riot" (YouTube), "Roberta Flack (feat. Dolly)" (YouTube)
Read: Drowned In Sound
Explore: http://www.flying-lotus.com/destroy/

Feed the Animals - Girl Talk (Illegal Art)

Listen: "What It's All About" (YouTube), "Here's The Thing" (YouTube)
Read: Lost At Sea
Explore: http://www.myspace.com/girltalk
Download: Feed the Animals (via Illegal Art)

Alopecia - Why? (anticon.)

Listen: "The Hollows" (YouTube), "The Vowels Pt. 2" (YouTube)
Read: Lost At Sea
Explore: http://www.myspace.com/whyanticon

Tha Carter III - Lil’ Wayne (Cash Money)

Listen: "Mr. Carter (feat. Jay-Z)" (YouTube), "Got Money (feat. T-Pain)" (YouTube)
Read: Lost At Sea
Explore: http://www.cashmoney-records.com/

Adage of Known - JDSY (Ghostly International)

Listen: "Smoke and Mirrors" (YouTube), "Else2" (Moodgadget)
Read: Lost At Sea
Explore: http://ghostly.com/artists/jdsy

13. Fear and Loathing in HuntsVegas - Paper Route Gangstaz (Paper Route Records)

Listen: "Stuntastic" (YouTube), "Wood Grain" (iMEEM)
Read: Pitchfork Media
Explore: http://www.myspace.com/paperrouteenterprise
Download: Fear and Loathing in HuntsVegas (via Mad Decent)

The 3rd World - Immortal Technique (Viper)

Listen: "Golpe De Estado (feat. Veneno y Temperamento)" (YouTube), "Mistakes" (YouTube)
Read: Lost At Sea
Explore: http://immortal-technique.com/

Songs In A&E - Spiritualized (Spaceman/Fontana)

Listen: "Sweet Talk" (YouTube), "Soul on Fire" (YouTube)
Read: Lost At Sea
Explore: http://www.spiritualized.com/

Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel - Atlas Sound (Kranky)

Listen: "Recent Bedroom" (YouTube), "River Card" (YouTube)
Read: Pitchfork Media
Explore: http://deerhuntertheband.blogspot.com/

17. Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust - Sigur Rós (XL)

Listen: "
Inní mér syngur vitleysingur" (YouTube), "Ara Batur" (YouTube)
Read: The Music Magazine
Explore: http://www.sigurros.com/

Johnson & Jonson - Johnson & Jonson (Tres)

Listen: "Bout It Bout It" (YouTube), "Up All Night" (YouTube)
Read: Prefix Magazine
Explore: http://www.myspace.com/jandjbabyproducts

The Hawk Is Howling - Mogwai (Matador)

Listen: "I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead" (YouTube), "Batcat" (YouTube)
Read: Lost At Sea
Explore: http://brightlight.youngteam.co.uk/

Road To Till The Casket Drops - Clipse (Re-Up Gang Records/Play Coths)
Listen: "S.L.U. (feat. Ab-Liva)" (YouTube), "Addiction" (YouTube)
Read: Pitchfork Media
Explore: http://www.myspace.com/clipse
Download: Road To Till The Casket Drops (via Complex)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Luda La Vida Remix - AyPerskAy

I've searched around the net for a lot of remixes, and the universal law I've been able to come up with is that Jay-Z and Ludacris will sound epic on top of nearly anything. It's extremely difficult to screw up when you have Hova spitting out a tincture of autobiographies and street metaphors, and Ludacris has so much confidence in his southern drawl -- he could inspire ghettos to start uprisings. So when I was exploring the myspace page of Chicago DJ and mashup artist Ayperskay and found an entry entitled "Luda La Vida Remix", I raced to it. It's prime Luda layered over Coldplay's grammy nominated "Viva La Vida" single and sugary techno pop sample goodness. This is primo.

Ayperskay - Luda La Vida Remix (Click to Download)

Ayperskay has also just released his first mixtape, you can find it here at Blacklabelled.com.

In the beginning...

So this is going to be my home base on the internet from now on. I'll be updating here (almost) daily with music and video, young and old, and some write-ups to try and keep myself on point on a consistent basis. For everybody that's given me a leg up in any area of my life so far, thank you, and I hope that this will be jumping off point to bigger and better things.

Now let's do this shit.