Home Team Round-Up: These Are Powers, 50 Cent, Animal Collective (Of Course)





Sound of the City roots for the home team and so does Impose Magazine‘s Jeremy Krinsley.

Alia Raza did a video for Violens, a band that plays soft-heeled indie pop that is not in any way Lansing-Dreiden light, despite the band’s frontman being first and foremost a member of that collective. For better… or worse, “Violens are just a good, honest rock band.”

What happens when the internet crowns a band like Animal Collective for the umpteenth time? The past coronations for Feels, Sung Tongs and Strawberry Jam (average Pitchfork score: 9.1) would have been enough to secure their critical patronage for a few lifetimes, but isn’t it dangerous to throw so much creature worship into the laps of one mild-mannered, thoughtful, potentially brilliant, endlessly engaging and surprising group of musicians? Sigh. Join the bandwagon or get rolled under it! Best of 2009! 9.6! Or the most ebullient (god save Animal Collective), by Uncut, as pointed out by Idolator: “Right now Merriweather Post Pavilion doesn’t just seem like one of the first great records of 2009, it feels like one of the landmark American albums of the century so far.”

Love, theft and violence as the recession hits New York’s mainstream hip-hop full-scale: 50 Cent slashes the price of his mansion, faces a cancelled reality TV show, loses his car deal(?), and bungles another single, while Jay-Z loses bank support for his hotel project, Jim Jones jumps on Jay-Z’s best friend (while shopping for high end scarfs), throws self at cops, but not before jumping on an Asher Roth track. (Asher Roth jumps on terrorist? We’re still in disbelief.) Queen Latifah‘s robbed but repping Jenny Craig for another year (keeping those pounds down). Plus, Lil’ Kim vows revenge for those who might defile her via Biggy biopics, as more of his demos surface.

DJ Premier wishes it were the ’90s, too.

These Are Powers are back in town after a mammoth tour through Europe. Their album is coming out in February, they’re playing a lot of upcoming shows, they lit up Cake Shop for New Years, and are receiving some of their first legitimate hate commentary on Vegan. Consequentially, Todd P is waking up from an early winter semi-hibernation of sorts with more regular, larger events, including a big-ass Brooklyn vs. Baltimore faceoff on the 30th (These Are Powers are playing it).

Born-again Kurtis Blow, on the other hand, seems ok with sermons instead of 1980s gold records.

Cover band in the guise of indie-pop starlets Titus Andronicus surprised Death by Audio as Weezer, but not before playing what had to be the most uncomfortable combination of crust-hipster vs. downtown metro hipsters to ever grace the new Galapagos place. On the same night, we shot Stupid Party, a band that perhaps nostalgically clings to a truly awful Geocities band website.


Jay-Z vs. Radiohead mashup: clean, sturdy, blindingly obvious, and likely to get some imitators who can exceed the original.

Good guy rapper Homeboy Sandman from Elmhurst puts out mixtape, wins blog love.

Cappadonna freestyles to promote The Cappatilize Project.

Kidz in the Hall MC Naledge places mixtape carefully on internet.

Theophilus London drops mixtape, throws party, leaks a video from city of London?

Cheeky Satan worship in a new-ish Mixel Pixel‘s video for their single “Faker.” Some bands’ slow-burn existences amaze me: Mixel Pixel, since 1997. (P.S. They’re playing Death by Audio this Saturday, January 10 too.)

Akron/Family, who were awesome enough to play in a backyard for us, will have leaked a new album by spring.

Grizzly Bear drummer remixes Feist.

Dent May, new video.

Dan Friel, old interview.

Sonic Youth‘s opaque lyrics have been transformed into a body of short fiction. Reviewing ensues, with more to come (hint hint). So does buying.

AC Slater is making people dance, apparently.

Hip hop started in Brooklyn. Or maybe Queens. An intriguing pilot/preview desperately in need of a graphic designer can’t quite make up its mind.

Strokes off-shoots cropping up on late night TV.

Paul’s Boutique is getting the box treatment.

Antony sketches mountains over pictures of the ocean, gets them in a London gallery.