Tag Archives: Dance

Quick Reviews: Sh*t Robot, The Chemical Brothers, J. Tillman

I have been getting tons of material lately for review consideration so I thought I would try something new and shrink down my usually lengthy reviews.  Nothing fancy, just trying to get the word out on some amazing bands and releases.  Enjoy.

Sh*t Robot – From The Cradle To The Rave

Marcus Lambkin, aka Sh*t Robot, has taken his time releasing his debut album – literally it has been 20 years in the making.  The Irish born punk rocker turned DJ has made a name for himself in the NYC club scene and even though has never recorded an album before has made a huge name for himself by just doing his thing.  I should also mention that Lambkin helped build that which is now DFA Records from the ground up.

From The Cradle To The Rave reflects Lambkin’s life as a DJ and more.  Opening track, co-written by LCD Soundsystem‘s James Murphy, “Tuff Enough?” is an electronic anthem of sorts with simple beats and synthesizer that was actually written about an upcoming expectancy.  “Losing My Patience” featuring Hot Chip‘s Alexia Taylor was a fun track that I think many of the dance clubs will have no problem spinning. “Simple Things (Work It Out)” was an entertaining experimental dance track of sorts with almost a spoken word feel to it.

My personal favorite cut on the album was “Take ‘Em Up” featuring another musician from LCD Soundsystem, Nancy Whang.  This song not only screamed retro 80’s but also heavily reminded me of what would happen if Daft Punk decided to sample a Sonic The Hedgehog soundtrack.  Whang’s vocals are perfect for this track more suitable to be played at a roller rink.

From The Cradle To The Rave is proof that sometimes taking your time is a good thing.  This release is for all the folk out there that still enjoy the clubs.  Full of electronic goodness that reaches back to the days when techno was all the hype in the 90’s as well as hints at some Kraftwerk.  The album is solid front to back without over doing it.  Where I don’t frequent those types of clubs anymore I still got a kick out of that which is Sh*t Robot.

The Chemical Brothers – Further

Seeing a band like The Chemical Brothers come out with new material makes this guy right here happy.  As a longtime fan of the British duo (Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons), I was thrilled when Further was released and even more intrigued when I heard that alongside the album would be visuals to accompany each of the songs. While I still have yet to obtain the videos I can tell you that they are available on DVD and iTunes for download.

Further is different from previous releases as it is mostly instrumental with Rowlands taking it upon himself to sing on a couple tracks as well as features Stephanie Dosen (Massive Attack) who lends her vocals as well.  I honestly prefer when they collaborate with other musicians on their previous releases but still enjoyed listening to tracks like “Escape Velocity” and “Another World”. “Swoon” was a trip in itself that I could not help but tag along with.

Heavy on the synthesizers and easing back on the drum machines throughout make for a very chill album to listen to.  This is one of those types of albums I can see myself not growing tired of anytime soon.  For those of you out there that still has a soft spot for the duo who hit the charts with “Block Rocking Beats” back in the day don’t hesitate to pick up Further.  The duo still has it and has dropped one great album to dance the night away to or even just sit back and get lost in.

J. Tillman – Singing Ax

Beautiful is just one of the many words that can be used to describe J. Tillman‘s latest release Singing Ax. Not just a member of Fleet Foxes, the folk artist has been very involved in recording material with others as well as himself since around 2004.  His latest offering is a vinyl only release that was recorded by Tillman almost entirely by himself in just three days.  The result is a calm yet captivating collection of songs that couple compliment any campfire gathering or just a quiet afternoon of solitude.

Opening track “Three Sisters” pretty much set the bar up high for the entire album for me.  While listening to TIllman’s singing I could only anticipate on what he was going to sing next and patiently waited the story, backed by acoustic guitar playing and drum machine, to unfold.  “Diamondback” continued with a calm retreat of a pleasant tale that had me closing my eyes and absorbing the intimate song.  In fact I found myself doing that a lot while listening to Singing Ax.  Later on I was treated to the album ending “A Seat At The Table” a song, to me, that almost was a musical rendition of a storm rolling in complete with thundering drumming towards the end of the track.

Tillman dropped an amazing album that barely carried any further supplement aside from his singing and acoustic guitar.  Honestly nothing more was needed as the folk chill release was presented perfectly.  I can only imagine what a live performance would entail.  Luckily for me he is touring with Phosphorescent and is making a stop in Cleveland in just a short couple of weeks.  Fans of Nick Drake and even a younger Neil Young I think will really enjoy this album as well as anyone out there that is just looking for a musical form of relaxation.

My Hero: The Indie/Undie Performer Har Mar Superstar

If you have never heard of Har Mar Superstar and claim to have a sense of humor as well as hold an appreciation towards those who work hard at the music they create, you are missing out.

I will say though, Har Mar is not for everyone.

Born Sean Tillman, Har Mar Superstar can be defined as a singer/songwriter with major indie(undie)-pop / R&B / dance qualities.  He is a performer like none other and has made a huge name for himself in the UK in past years.  In 2004 he released The Handler and in October he will be dropping an all new album titled Dark Touches.  Not only does he write his own music, but he also writes for others making this guy one of the harder working artists out there.

On Dark Touches, Har Mar will take his dance club pop style to a whole new level thanks to his dedicated work to his moniker and will feature a huge roster of special guests including P.O.S., The Faint‘s sick beat creators Clark Baechle and Jacob Thirle, and even is joined by John Fields who has produced many acts including Andrew WK and Rooney.

To make things even more interesting Dark Touches will include a track that Har Mar co-wrote that was originally intended for pop superstar Britney Spears.  Rejected by Britany Spears’ management for unknown reasons, Har Mar decided he keep the track “Tall Boy” and include it on his upcoming album with unchanged lyrics and his added style making for an interesting listen.

DOWNLOAD THIS!Har Mar Superstar – “Tall Boy”

I can still remember the first time I had the pleasure of checking out Har Mar Superstar.  It was 2001 and the then unknown artist was the opening act for Tenacious D.  Har Mar came to the stage all by himself and performed to the crowd his material while slowly stripping throughout to his tighty whities.

The crowd was speechless.

I was cheering as loudly as I could. All the silent folk around me turned their heads from the stage and looked at me with the same puzzled look.  Others in the theater were cheering too but I am pretty sure that not all of the applause was sincere.  Mine was.

I cheered for a couple of reasons.

One being for his performance.  It was good.  He sang pop like songs sometimes heavy on the R&B over pre-recorded material.  He danced about the stage in his own style and proved to have better moves that many people who frequent over priced dance clubs.

I also cheered because this guy had the balls to take the stage and do his thing without hesitation.  There was a lot of heckling and plenty of booing during the show but Har Mar just blew it off like it was nothing.  He believed in himself and even if his performance included scrapping his attire, I appreciated his performance.

Since the night I made sure to check out all that he has released and I not once was disappointed.  “DUI”, a track from The Handler is a track that still remains in heavy rotation in my musical listening choices.

It’s been five years since I last heard from Har Mar and it’s true, I am excited to hear what is to come from this insanely talented performer.  Look for the new album to drop in the states on October 13th.

Here is the video for “DUI”:

Press info found on Har Mar Superstar’s website:

After a five-year proper-album break since 2004’s The Handler, Har Mar Superstar, sexy as ever, is ready to unleash Dark Touches on the masses. On Dark Touches, Sean Tillmann – the singer, songwriter, and producer behind the Har Mar moniker – delivers his most club-friendly collection of jams yet. Tillmann’s silky smooth croon and tongue-in-cheek lyrics lead a nonstop dance party that blends everything from synth-pop to R&B, with ample hooks around every corner.

Dark Touches builds a bridge between the worlds of indie and Top 40 dance music, thanks in part to an eclectic group of collaborators. The album’s many guests include John Fields (Andrew WK, The Jonas Brothers, Rooney), The Faint’s beatmakers Clark Baechle and Jacob Thiele, singer-songwriter Adam Green, P.O.S. of the Rhymesayers collective, Neon Neon’s Boom Bip, Flowers of Doom, and Samaire Armstrong. The Bird and The Bee’s Greg Kurstin, who has also produced tracks for Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue, and Lily Allen, co-wrote and lent his studio wizardry to “Tall Boy.” The track was originally intended for Spears and, with the unchanged lyrics, takes on a vibrant new life in the hands of Har Mar.

Of course no Har Mar song is complete without Tillmann’s signature lyrics, which are both outrageously absurd and witty. “I Got Next,” which features The Bird and The Bee’s Inara George, details Tillmann’s practice of asking women to sign contracts that put him next in line to date if they ever leave their current boyfriend. He has also penned an anthem for the ladies with “Girls Night,” a track that was once intended for The Cheetah Girls, and like “Tall Boy,” maintains the original lyrics, written from a female perspective.

Tillmann is also getting ready to dip his toes into the world of Hollywood with the release of Whip It, a film directed by Drew Barrymore. As if he isn’t wearing enough hats already, Tillmann is actively developing his own movie scripts and sitcom pilots. Along with his golden pipes, the ability to juggle multiple creative outlets is sure to win him entry into both the hearts and undergarments of women and men everywhere.

Get ready, everyone. Dark Touches is coming!

As always, if you are on Facebook, please stop by the page, become a fan, and say hi:

You can also follow Har Mar on TWITTER & listen to his music at MYSPACE.