the photography, music and ramblings of Matt Lipstein

The Sixteen Most Stupidfresh Songs of 2007

And away we go! 2007 was a great year for music across the board. New releases from some of my favorite artists, and tons of songs by new bands provided the soundtrack to the past 12 months. As usual, I was also exposed to some tracks that have been around for years, decades in some instances, that have been totally off my radar.

Many thanks to all of you who have shared your music with me - we're all in this together!

I humbly present the the Sixteen Most Stupidfresh Songs of 2007. Almost all tracks were released in the past year, but some are classics that warranted inclusion here. Have a listen and let me know what you think! As always, if you download something you like please support the artist by buying their album or seeing them on tour.

1. Wilco - Either Way
A lot of people were not down with the latest Wilco record Sky Blue Sky (and even fewer supported their "sell-out" in Volkswagen ads. To me, the new tracks were a bit more adult and less adventurous, but they still packed the same emotional wallop of the past few albums. Mind the guitar riffage about 3/4's in.

2. The Blow - Parantheses
You can thank Rebecca for this one. This track is just so darned cute! The remix for this track showed up on
the CD for this year's Believer music issue, but I'll take the original, thanks.

3. Justice - D.A.N.C.E.
They said it was going to be the biggest indie club hit of the summer, and they weren't kidding! You could hear this coming out of bars, clubs, cars all summer. If there was a white belt nearby, D.A.N.C.E. wasn't far behind.

4. Elliott Smith - New Monkey
The posthumous double-disc New Moon was a stand-out this year. It completely reinvented Elliott for me and reminded me why his music resonated so deeply in the first place.

5. The Magic Numbers - This Is A Song
When this track come out, I described it as the perfect pop song. Almost a year later, I'm going to take that back and offer that it is a perfectly constructed song instead. It's a musical journey rather than a piece of pop candy to be enjoyed frivolously. Maybe it's all those pop harmonies that duped me the first time around.

6. Toots and the Maytals - Pressure Drop
Sure, I love the reggae as much as the next guy, but somehow this track eluded me until a few months back. I had probably heard the
Robert Palmer
cover version while riding in elevators by and the like, but this original immediately chills me out and before I know I'm sipping on an ice-cold Red Stripe.

7. Esau Mwamwaya - Tengazako
Music for Robots passed along the demo of this African artist. It took me a while to make the connection that he's simply singing over the instrumental of M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" - but who cares? I honestly didn't quite feel the power of this song until I passed it along to a few unaffiliated friends who each came back singing its praises. And yes, I agree the gun shots at the end are a bit aggressive but you gotta take the good with the bad.

8. Tigercity - Other Girls
If you, me and my iPod were at a party this summer you probably heard "Other Girls". Falsetto galore and tight transitions make for a good time. I foolishly missed Tiger City while they held a residency at the Mercury Lounge this summer. Were you there?

9. New Buffalo - Cheer Me Up Thank You
Slow and steady wins the race on this one. When it pops up on shuffle it always brings a smile. You may also want to check out the a capella cover (posted today!) over at Infinite Regress and their cover song project.

10. Amy Winehouse - Tears Dry On Their Own (NYPC's Fucked Mix)
All tabloidery aside, the girl's got chops. This remix by New Young Pony Club would make LCD Soundsystem head back to remix school. A perfect, in not unexpected, collaboration. Put this on and let it all hang out.

11. Stars - The Ghost Of Genova Heights
My first reaction to the new Stars record In Our Bedroom after the War was "feh". Kind of a mediocre step back in my opinion. Genova Heights however is one of the few stand outs. It reminds me of the afore listed Tiger City track in many ways - falsetto vocals and quality dong writing. But Stars is more mature, with a much higher production value. The panned guitars at the song's close make it all worthwhile.

12. LCD Soundsystem - Time To Get Away
This song speaks for itself.

13. Kevin Drew - Tbtf
Is it considered a side project if the front-man from Broken Social Scene records his own album largely with the members of BSS? Maybe it's all in the marketing. In any event, Spirit If was a triumph. It was presented this summer live, opening for Feist (heard of her?) at McCarren Pool in Willy-B. While the chorus of TBTF is not safe for work, the song is still a beauty.

14. Bright Eyes - If The Brakeman Turns My Way
And you can thank Big Ranz for this. I have shunned Bright Eyes for years, feeling he is the pretty-boy version of Eliott Smith, and resenting him for no good reason (yea - I can be like that at times). Thank goodness Ranz told me to shut it and listen to Cassedega. It instantly reminded me of The Band with its production and instrumentation. And he wasn't nearly the whiny little punk I though he would be. In fact it appears he's all growns up and cutting great tracks.

15. Page France - Without a Diamond Ring
I don't know much about Page France, except their tracks seem to make it on every music blog I read. And thank goodness for that! This song is subdued and smoky. I love his awkward voice.

16. Aretha Franklin - Bridge Over Troubled Water
This song had more effect on me than any other in 2007. A hidden gem in the ruins of pop music, Aretha's take on the Simon & Garfunkle classic has it all. It is such a fresh interpretation of the song's essence. Treating it as a gospel song, Aretha let's the song breathe, allowing instrumental passages to weave around the vocal. I played this as my last song when I DJ'd this past Fall at Last Exit and their wasn't a dry eye in the house.


The Best of the Best of 2007

Hey there Internet reader. Long time no see.

Here we are at year end and many a website you know and trust is offering it's Best Of 2007 lists. I do love me a list, and I have a few go-tos for the music. It reminds me of some of the great tunes from the past year, and more often than not it exposes me to tracks completely off my radar. You may like to peruse:

Said The Gramophone Best Music Songs of 2007 - 50 downloadable (for now) songs with an indie slant but some rap and miscellany in there as well

Pitchfork's Top 100 Tracks of 2007 - This is a lot more all over the map, but their indie selections are fairly snobby (hey it is Pitchfork after all). A mix of downloadable MP3s, streams and videos. Worth a look, overwhelming at times.

And for the visual learners out there, check out the 12 Best Music Videos of the Year. Something for everyone.

I'll be posting my own Best of 2007 list, with possible d'loads for you, but these should whet your whistle for now. In the meantime, let's round it out with my pick for the best video of the year:

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Bang That Door

I've been quietly working on this one for a minute. I used to work with a guy named Hakim - he's one of those people you hope you have the pleasure of being around when you're on the j-o-b. Hakim would sing his way through the workday, and would often make up songs about things that happened and the people he interacted with.

The thing is - the dude has chops. Sure, I know you have some dude at your job that does the same thing, but they don't sound as good as Hakim.

Before moving on to a new gig, we recorded a bunch of acapella tracks to have on hand. I now present the first of what I hope are many Hakim's Moods remixes. I know isn't my normal "style" of music to make, but whatever. It sounds right, and I like trying new things. Let's go hang gliding together sometime.

Lippy (ft. Hakim) - Bang That Door


Tomorrow Night: DJ Lippy presents Stupidfresh

Please know I have procured vinyl copies of:
  • "No Diggity" by Blackstreet
  • "Islands in the Stream" by Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton
  • and Aretha Franklin doing a soul rendition of "Bridge Over Troubled Water"

It's all incredibly correct. Hope to see you and yours tomorrow night!

The Final Countdown:
What: DJ Lippy presents Stupidfresh
When: Friday November 16th, 10pm until really late
Where: Last Exit - 136 Atlantic (Clinton/Henry)
Why: Because you need this
$: FREE!

Check below for all the graphical details. Invite any and all, the more the sweatier. Keep Bangin'...

DJ Lippy

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DJ Lippy presents Stupidfresh - November 16th

Oh my goodness. Click on the pic below for the full blown flyer. Go out now and start buying your outfit.

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Imogene Heap - One versus many

I've been loving on this song "Hide and Seek" for over a year now. It was performed by Imogene Heap, former front-woman of Frou Frou. Even though it's sung acapella, it's a complex song in many respects. Right off the bat you'll notice there are about a dozen Imogene's in there. It makes for a really lush, layered sound. There are also a good amount of effects on her different vocal tracks that make it sound processed and robotic at times.

Then there are the lyrics: personal and challenging, stark and beautiful. I mean:
where are we?
what the hell is going on?
the dust has only just begun to fall
crop circles in the carpet
sinking feeling

spin me round again
and rub my eyes,
this can't be happening
when busy streets a mess with people
would stop to hold their heads - heavy

Here is the original track:
Imogene Heap - Hide and Seek

Now, the reason this was all brought up in the first place is my man Benge played an acapella version of Hide and Seek on his weekly radio show Sex Fly (which you can listen to live, or tap into the the archives at WRUV's website.) This version was done by the UCLA Awaken Acapella group.

I'll make fun of acapella as quickly as the next blogger (I mean look at the dudes' photo), but I really like listening to these two tracks back to back. It really reinforces how strong Imogene's performance is.

Here is the UCLA take: UCLA Awaken Acapella - Hide and Seek (cover)

So, take a listen compare, contrast and discuss!


A score from halfway around the world

I love records. Like all beat diggers, I have a long list in my head of certain platters that are still on my want-list. These little buggers have alluded me all my life.

Last week I got an email from my eBay notifier that there was a copy of Sandwiches by the Detroit Grand Pubahs available. I've gotten this email before, but it usually led to a posting of a bootleg copy with no original track, or even worse - a CD of the song in question.

But this one was the real deal! It was from a seller in Japan of all places and after a few days of bidding I wound up being the winner. It didn't cost much, but the shipping was twice the purchase price. Totally worth it. It arrived today, Sunday (!) and is spinning on my hi-fi as I type this.

The song is amazing. Year 2000 Electro love, and weird as hell. And would you look at that album cover? A sandwich on a portable turntable. Looks, and sounds, like heaven to me.

Keep dreaming my friends, it can all become reality.


D.A.N.C.E. it up

Justice - D.A.N.C.E.

This will pretty much be your favorite song this summer. Great video too!

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Air / TV on the Radio Review - May 10 Theater at MSG

Amanda & I went to see Air play at the Theater at MSG last week (May 10th) as part of the Highline Festival. A few days earlier, it was announced that TV on the Radio were going to open with an acoustic set. Did someone creep into my brain and ask me what my favorite line up would be? This was pretty close.

The show was great. TV killed it, playing stripped down versions of rocking tunes. To be honest, I'd written them off as of late - so much press as the indie darlings in the last year. I guess I still get that little 18 year old in me who gets all pissed when other people start liking my favorite band (lets call this the Pearl Jam Problem).

Their performance last week brought me back to why I love them in the first place. It's indie rock soul music. Tunde is belting out some deep, and often times dark lyrics up there. He throws his whole boy into it and the band is along for the ride. Testify Tunde!

Here's a clip of the song "Tonight" from the show, that also showcases their use of typewriter in the set.

Air followed with a mellow and sexy set - no shocker there. This was my first Air show, and I never realised that while one of the Frenchies is playing keyboard, the other on the bass guitar. Ripping it no less!

This clip doesn't feature the bass, but it does show a nice version of "Cherry Blossom Girl".

Is anyone else amazed that I can go onto youtube and find someone who filmed lots of songs from this show and now I can blog about here? For me it's a mix of great and gross (also known as a situation of "crap-candy"). I mean, awesome that I can share this, but it does take away from the special memories I have of living through these songs.

Is this my new Pearl Jam problem?

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Sounds like Silver

If you love the new LCD Soundsystem record (I know I do), you'll probably enjoy the unofficial remix album already online and free to download.

Check it:


Daft Punk Links

Some great Daft Punk videos to get you energized for the shows this summer:

This one minute video shows a small smattering of where Daft Punk got their samples from. Who knew they were borrowing such large chunks form other sources? House beats make everything sound good.

For a full list of Daft Punk samples check here. Thanks to Dro for the heads up.

A mash-up of people doing the Charleston dance set to "Around The World" by Daft Punk:

I hate acapella music. No really - it's irritating. However this rendition of Harder, Better, Better, Faster, Stronger makes me only want to beat them up a little bit.

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New LCD Soundsystem

The new LCD Soundsystem record "Sound of Silver" dropped today. Leader James Murphy (as in the band leader, not my leader - although he may as well be) is hoping to hit the Top 40 charts and he's encouraging fans to buy the album this week to help bolster the sales.

I bought my copy from Virgin Megastore tonight for $10 - CHEAP!

You can listen to samples on their site here.

And because I loves ya', here is my favorite track, in full right here on Stupidfresh:

LCD Soundsystem - Time to Get Away

I would also highly reccomend their live show - they are currently on tour.


While we're at it...

On the old school hip-hop tip, this Madlib track makes more rap references than you know, sucker. Now the video adds a visual to your memories.

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De La Flashback

I remember being 13 years old going into the city and grabbin a copy of the Village Voice's Pazz & Jop Awards issue. De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising swept every category.

I went out the next day and bought a copy - my life (and hip-hop) were changed forever.

Below is a seven minute slice of that. This was straight ripped from Via Big Ranz.

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Are we in the future?

I keep seeing things recently that make me think we are in the future. The Google Books project was one. The possibility of an African-American or female president was another.

But this really takes the cake.

Below is a demo video for the Monome. It's a musical instrument that works off of a computer feed to sequence, cue, loop and trigger music. I'm sorry but the future is now! Watch it.

Info courtesy of The Shamblers via RD.

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Fresh Sounds from Old Friends

All the bands you love have been putting out new music recently Here are a few cuts you may be interested in.

The Magic Numbers - This is a Song

This is the year for The Magic Numbers. Their first album was critically acclaimed, but didn't do a whole lot to crossover. When you listen to this first single from their upcoming sophomoric release, you can instantly recognize the genius. The songwriting is tighter than ever, and the playing is markedly better. Love that bass.

Air - Once Upon a Time

Our favorite French band is back again. If you liked their other music you'll be sure to enjoy this lead single from their new album, Pocket Symphony.

LCD Soundsystem - North American Scum

YES! I straight-up love LCD, and am pretty pumped about their new record Sound of Silver. This track has been getting mixed reviews on the Internets. I think it's important to keep in mind that James Murphy is an ironic bastard. And he makes damn good music.


Ga Ga

When I was eleven years old, I watched Live Aid in awe. I really have many memories from the concerts, but perhaps the most vivid is of Queen performing Radio Ga Ga at Wembly Arena.

I have this image burned in my head of Freddie Mercury controlling the crowd as hundreds of thousand fans clapped their hands in unison. It was very powerful and even at that young age it thrilled me to see the power of music in action.

Thank goodness for You Tube:

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Timberlake song exposed!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand mersh.

DJ Ranztron has done it again. I went and posted a new Justin Timberlake song that's been on repeat in my player and Ranz goes and identifies the sample!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you "A New Day" by JC Davis. Go and marinate on them drums for a minute...

JC Davis - It's a New Day


Stroke it to the East...

Music for Robots has been straight killing it the last couple of days. This is my friend JPs (quite successful) MP3 blog. He and his boys post tracks temporarily on their site with insightful and often times hilarious reviews.

Not every track is a winner, but there's some quite good ones in the mix, and the occasional gem.

The last few posts have been off the hook.

Peep it and be sure to support the artists by buying their music.

As always - big ups to my friend Tamara on the site graphics and design.


Fuel For the Fire...

So tomorrow is the big move and I'm feeling like I'm in good shape. That's not to say there's not tons to do tonight, but I don't think I'll be up to all hours.

I've been meaning to post this track from the new record for a few weeks now. It's been keeping me going through this move - such a good track! Falsetto lyrics, ridiculous 60s style backbeat, and that rap - that RAP!

Have a listen.
Damn Girl.mp3

Oh and for all those JT haters - shut it. He may be pop but he's damn good.

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The Best of the Best

Said the Gramophone is an amazing MP3 blog that I check regularly. This is the second year they are offering their 2006's Best Music Songs list - the best part is that the lists all have downloadable MP3s to accompany the critiques.

I swore by the 2005 list for the past 12 months so I am overjoyed that
they decided to make it a tradition.

Head on over and have a listen. They also offer two .zip files containing all 35 songs!


Damn You Canada - You've Done it Again!

This video has it all. The song is catchy as all get out, it's in
French and the video itself is just precious. This band is Malajube and the song "Montreal -40°C". Enjoy yourselfCanada. Watch out U.S.

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Best posts from other blogs - 11/28/06

Here's the best stuff I've found (so far) today:

Song: from Music for Robots, The Gossip - Listen Up (mstrkrft remix)

Just straight up funky. For real. Press the lil' green button to listen.

Photo: from Gothamist, Light Waves in Brooklyn

"We've been admiring some gorgeous pictures of last night's start of the Prospect Park in Lights installation on Gothamist Contribute. We love this photograph by Atomische, showing ocean waters created out of lights. According to Prospect Park, "more than half a million light emitting diodes (LEDs) will be used to illuminate four gateways to the Park: Grand Army Plaza, which encompasses the historic Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch and the Bailey Fountain; Bartel-Pritchard Circle; Park Circle; and the Parkside and Ocean Avenue entrance to the Park."

Skate Deck: from turntablelab, Iron Mike

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Standing on the shoulders of giants

There' s quite a bit of good electronic music coming out these days. Hot Chip are one band who have really been doing it for me (check their album "The Warning" - it's tight from start to finish). This renaissance of electro-pop kicked in a few years ago with The Postal Service and their unique brand of digital music coupled with emotional lyrics. It was right up my alley.

But is it unique?

I got to thinking about the bands I enjoyed when I was a young teenager. Bands like Joy Division, Erasure, Yaz, Depeche Mode. And New Order.

I had this VHS tape (remember those?) of New Order videos, and the one for their song The Perfect Kiss stands out in my mind. In the video they are performing the song live in the studio. What blew me away (and still does) is how organic their production of the song is even though it has such an Electronic sound to it. You'd think it was all done using synthesizers and computers but there is as much good ol' electric guitar in there as there is digital equipment.

Thank goodness for YouTube where we can all re-live our childhood memories. Watch this New Order video for The Perfect Kiss and then think of all the "ground-breaking" indie music you like now. Wild.

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Two Great Tastes that Taste Great Together

Together at Last: The Temptations and the Supremes on Ed Sullivan. Just wait for David Ruffin's howl and the synchornized dancing. DAMN. I mean - DAMN.

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Nasty Jams

I just got to posting all my old songs in the music section.

I'm hoping to have some new tunage up there soon, but honestly I've been focusing more on photography these days. the transition to the new computer has also made it hard to record while the state of my lab is in flux.



Believe the Hype

I'm adding another link to my sidebar today. It's the greatest online tool for finding music you want to hear and learning about new stuff you might enjoy. It's a music blog aggregator - basically they pull from all the MP3 Blog sites and show what tracks they are posting. You can also search so if you want the new 45 minute LCD Soundsystem track "45:33" - you can find it there.

The Hype Machine

Remember: If you like something always support artists by legally purchasing their music and going to see their shows!

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Bustle in your hedgerow

Another hot tip from the Welsh. Dolly Parton doing Satirway! Yes - Stairway to Heaven!

The best I could do was track down the real player stream
Cover for Parton's latest CD


It brings tears to your eyes

On Sunday night I went to check out Amateur Female Jello Wrestling at Arlene's Grocery. Now that's real jello wrestling, not a band. It was surprisingly disappointing - the wrestling was all staged (I guess I'm a purist) and the crowd energy was non-existent.

All was not lost however. I met some of Amanda's friends who were in from Wales. We got to talking about music, and I was pointed in the direction of The Broken Family Band. The first link I clicked on was for the video below, "It's All Over".

I must be their target audience because it totally floored me - both the video and the song. A note from YouTube to explain the background a bit:

The song is from the album BALLS by The Broken Family Band.The video is edited from a silent film made by Natalie Toumbas ( called Silent Treatment - she asked two strangers to sit in a room for an entire hour - all they had to do was look at each other and not speak while being filmed (They could not hear any music.)
So in any event, here it is. It would be interesting to watch the full hour of footage from the silent film, but the images coupled with the song is breathtaking. Thanks for the tip Alex!

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