RAC’s Remix Tokyo Police Club “Boots Of Danger” (Plus Lady GaGa vs. Sonic The Hedgehog!)

Remix Artist Collective have built a pretty excellent portfolio of high profile remixes of bands like U2 and Yeah Yeah Yeahs as well some great left field stuff like Anamanaguchi. They’ve got a particular polish to their sound that I love. A RAC remix often takes rock songs outside their genre into a slick, beat driven style. Recently they tackled ‘Wait Up (Boots of Danger)’, a track from Tokyo Police Club’s awesome release Champ, which has grown to be one of my favorites of the year.

TPC released video for the original version of the song, which focuses less on the band and more on a rather ragtag bunch of dogs charging about the neighborhood and sneaking into a backyard pool. What better than the marriage of dogs and indie rock? By purchasing the single through the band’s website for a price of either $1, $5 or $10 you get the video, remixes by RAC and DOM and 100% of your money goes to the ASPCA. Get a videos of dogs jumping into a pool, good music and help save future dogs. Win-win…er, win.

RAC have allowed you to stream their great remix, so check it out:

Gone are the guitars and live drums, replaced with some electro synths and a head-nodding beat. The new sun drenched, almost tropical feel is something I never could have possibly conceived of working, but like with most RAC remixes…they manage to make magic.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention their RAC’s Nintendo vs. Sega remixes. Their version of the Super Mario theme is amazing enough, slapped with a sick Justice style compressed beat and some squiggly synths.

Hell, I’m listening to all the tracks as I write and remembering how fucking fantastic they are. You can download the whole EP via the player above. Sonic’s level music was always far funkier than was probably appropriate for a hedgehog. A perfect example: this shockingly good Lady GaGa vs. Sonic mashup. (download link on the youtube page)

And that’s how you abstractly connect Tokyo Police Club to Lady GaGa.

Local Natives Live At The Bowery Ballroom

So, seems Baeble is taking charge in hosting up some pretty sweet live shows. Be warned though, as the first time I tried to bring up the setlist function on their player and skip songs…flash just completely died. Linked here is the Local Natives show from the Bowery Ballroom in NYC, back in May. Their album is fairly deserved of the showers of praise its received and takes on an additional charm in a live context. The vocal harmonies are not studio trickery and form a lovely enveloping warmth that brings the songs an added dimension.

Also worth checking out, Local Natives just finished a semi-acoustic Daytrotter session which you can find here.

Baeble also has a killer set from Tokyo Police Club at The Studio at Webster Hall. Watching it makes me feel less shitty for missing their most recent tour.

Enjoy!

Junk in my trunk – A backlog of MP3s (Wild Nothing, Dom, Scissor Sisters & more)

I’ve had a ton of shit floating around on my HD that just hasn’t made it up to the site…tracks just nabbed from random websites that I mostly swooped off the shelf blind and have been digesting for a while now. Here’s a few from that batch:



WILD NOTHING – CHINATOWN

Given that it’s so soaked in a summery warm haze of reverb, it’s a pretty easy sell for me. Wild Nothing dips into a fair number of influences to make something contentedly charming that feels like a second cousin to the Cocteau Twins. The subdued cavernous vocals and plucked strings nestled into a clatter of backbeat create something discordantly beautiful.



DOM – JESUS

Even if for some reason the dude’s squeaky pangender vocals alway make me think of Silversun Pickups and the opening bass line feels nicked from ‘My Sherona’, I still enjoy the hell out of this track. It’s a simple, lo-fi jam poured out with a kind of fresh effortlessness that charms. Clocking in at 2 minutes, it’s the kind of tune that is over before you’re bothered by any single element.



SCISSOR SISTERS – INVISIBLE LIGHT

Off their forthcoming release Night Work…it’s not in line with what I usually listen to, but this is the perfect example of how a great hook can change something from generic to worth of repeat. Bonus points for getting Ian McKellen in to do contribute some spoken word. I hope to be guesting on tracks when I’m 71.



TOKYO POLICE CLUB – BREAKNECK SPEED

I’ve posted before about these guys, so I don’t feel the need to on about them too much. That said, this single is something I can contentedly leave on repeat for a while. As with earlier TPC, the core elements are simple which for them is less a detriment and more part of their charm. The layers gel quite wonderfully and are accompanied with the usual lyrics that deal with old friends and lost memories. The whole album is solid, but this is a standout track.



UNICORN KID – DREAM CATCHER

A killer, midtempo chiptune stomper grabbed from the Ministry of Sound blog. They released the song in honor of his signing to the label a few months ago. Unicorn Kid seems to have snagged a lot of high profile slots in recent years – opening for Pet Shop Boys, Owl City & remixing The Gorillaz – something especially awesome considering he’s a chiptune artist. (The previous sentence is in no way an endorsement of Owl City)



EMANCIPATOR – SIGUR ROS VS MOBB DEEP (EMANCIPATOR MASH UP)

I’m not even sure where this one came from, but as mash-ups go, it’s a pretty bizarre pairing that works like magic. Chopped up vocals from Jonsi and a chill minimal beat paired with some Mobb Deep verses come together in an unexpectedly satisfying way. Emancipator is a clever clever man.

‘A toast to the last of a dying breed…” – Tokyo Police Club

I’m not entirely sure why I like Tokyo Police Club the way I do. The core building blocks of the band are pretty straight forward: metronomic indie rock drumming, jagged, occasionally reverbed guitar and a thin but emotive lead singer. All the elements separately wouldn’t stand a chance , but together they coalesce and creates something that exceeds expectations.

Tokyo Police Club – Your English Is Good

When the tempo is pushed forward, the songs are at their best; propulsive head-nodding pseudo-anthems that catch you in their wake and pull you along. Tracks like ‘Your English Is Good’ stomp along with all the fervor of punkrock’s grandchild, but with an added attention to shifting detail. The song is littered with touches; the keyboard line glues together the clicking of the drums and the steady, fuzzy bass. It’s not repetitive; the riffs concise and incredibly efficient.

Tokyo Police Club – In A Cave

I’m not the type of listener who reacts to the lyrics. I tend to process the minutia of the sound production rather than respond to the worlds described by the singer. Dave Monks is an exception as very early in my discovery of the band I found myself looking up the lyrics and additionally, the meaning behind the words to ‘In A Cave’.

The phrasing isn’t always perfect, but his choices create something that is earnest and visual. The narratives twist throughout the song, fragments of images appear and guide you along. I think the almost awkward positioning of some of his word choices are the things that draw me in. The times my ears get confused cause me to only listen closely and examine the narrative better. Like with The Ghost’s Brian Moss, the things that I initially found offputting about some of his lyric choices evolved into the things that I found most endearing about the band.

The Interface has a few fantastic in-studio acoustic performances up as video and for MP3 download. Plus, Monks has a Maps and Atlases shirt on…you know how I love those guys. Always nice to see people you like have good taste as well.

You can download the full set for download as an single MP3 from The Interface, but I took the liberty of chopping it up into individual tracks. Far more useful that way:

Tokyo Police Club – Live at The Interface (Acoustic)

01. Tokyo Police Club – Tessalate: MP3VIDEO
02. Tokyo Police Club – The Harrowing Adventures: MP3VIDEO
03. Tokyo Police Club – The Nature of the Experiment – MP3VIDEO
04. Tokyo Police Club – Centennial: MP3VIDEO

The four songs as a ZIP (Sendspace)

Elephant Shell is a great example of quality from a young band that will only grow as time moves on. The songs they’ve presented us are smartly produced, contemporary indie rock that is driving without being lofty or overly anthemic. The live, acoustic cuts strip away the layers and show something of exceptional craft at the core. What they do next will no doubt be well worth the listen.

Bonus downloads:

2007’s Daytrotter Session

Ra Ra Riot’s stellar remix of Juno

2007 Brooklyn Vegan Interview

Twitter Recap! – Tokyo Police Club, Wale, Black Dice, Thermals & More!

In an effort to diversify content between the actual site and the Taking Tiger Mountain Twitter, I tend post links to whatever random free music links I find while trolling the web. This helps keeping the twitter from being just the occational rant and “OH HAI BLOG UPDATE LINK.”

For those who aren’t yet subscribed (wink, wink) enjoy a recap of the past week’s free mp3’s and videos links!

[MP3]

Black Dice – ‘Glazin’

Motel Motel – ‘Coffee’

Tokyo Police Club – ‘Juno’

Tokyo Police Club – ‘Juno (Ra Ra Riot Remix)’

Wale – ‘Nightlife (feat. Tre and Young Chris)’

Thermals – ‘Now We Can See’

Mountains – ‘Choir’

Mimas – ‘Cats on Fire’

Kanye West – ‘Love Lockdown (Lunice remix)’

A full live Andrew Bird set from 2002

[VIDEO]

Radiohead performing ’15 Step’ with the USC Marching Band at the Grammys

Ladytron’s new video for ‘Tomorrow’

Crystal Antlers – ‘Until The Sun Sets (live)’

John Vanderslice – ‘Too Much Time (live)’

N.A.S.A – ‘Hip Hop’

A full live set from Ratatat in Paris

Please add the Taking Tiger Mountain Twitter if you like what you see!

If not, I’ll do a link round-up again soon…

Lettermania! – Beirut, At The Drive-In, Tom Waits & More!

I came across Beirut’s recent performance of ‘A Sunday Smile’ on Letterman 2 weeks ago, I decided to take a wander back through the archives of what YouTube had to offer for Letterman performances. Why Letterman? Well, he’s not as funny as he used to be, but for sure as a east coaster originally I’ve always preferred him over the big chin schlub (to quote the late, great Bill Hicks).

Plus, he’s got decent taste in musicians for a late night host…

Here we go with Beirut’s aforementioned performance of ‘A Sunday Smile’:

I ended up digging through the archives and found some of the gems from recent years:

Beirut – A Sunday Smile (Feb 2nd, 2009)

The National – Fake Empire (July 24, 2007)

My favorite track off of Boxer and a stunner live.

Tokyo Police Club – The Nature of the Experiment (April, 17th 2007)

While not my favorite TPC song, a solid performance.

Andrew Bird – Plasticities (April, 11th 2007)
Also, Fitz and Dizzyspells (Jan, 27th 2009)

Always fantastic live, Andrew Bird’s usually loose and languid performances are compressed by broadcast time constraints and come across like 45’s played at the wrong speed; while not the best Live Bird, it certainly is interesting.

The Decemberists – O Valencia (November, 28th 2006)

Live Decemberists are always fun…not much else to add.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Date With The Night
Also, Down Boy (26th July 2007) & Gold Lion (March 29, 2006)

Mmm, Yeah Yeah Yeahs back when they had their glorious edge. Sadly, not the same when their second album rolled around, but we love them still.

At The Drive-In – One Armed Scissor
Also, Sparta – Breaking The Broken (October 20th, 2004) & The Mars Volta – Wax Simulacra (January 17th, 2008)

A vintage performance from At The Drive-In at their finest. Bonus performances from The Mars Volta and Sparta.

Tom Waits – Straight To The Top (1988)

I guess Tom and Dave are buddies, judging by the number of times that he’s been on the show. An equally good interviewee as a performer.

Tom Waits – Frank’s Wild Years (1983)
Part 2 – On The Nickle

Tom Waits – Rain Dogs (1986)

Tango Till They’re Sore (1988)

Tom Waits – Interview for Alice & Blood Money (2002)

And for a little change, here’s some David Sedaris to round the collection out. Enjoy.

David Sedaris – Stadium Pal