Godspeed You Black Emperor!, “Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven”

Godspeed is one of Canada’s most famous bands. One of the archetypes of the post-punk sound, a style of instrumental music that builds and descends in epically long tracks. After releasing an EP, Godspeed released a double album (totaling a whopping 9 songs), “Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven.” This title track is a beautiful introduction to their sound. This song builds and builds until it crescendos making you feel like raising your skinny fists to the heavens!

Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven (play/download mp3)

Buy/Listen to all of Godspeed’s music.

Cool Runnings, “Robin Hoods Of The Ghetto”

Quite possibly the definition of ‘cool riddim’, “Robin Hoods Of The Ghetto” was originally released during the apex of Bob Marley’s international success. A winning formula that focused its power on exposing the injustices and struggles of poor people across the world, Cool Runnings followed Marley’s humanitarian cue with classic tunes like this one, re-released last October by Bristol Archive Records.

Cool Runnings
“Robin Hoods Of The Ghetto” (download mp3)
from “The Bristol Reggae Explosion 2 ‘The 80’s'”
(Bristol Archive Records)
“Robin Hoods Of The Ghetto” (play)
More Bristol Reggae

Guilty Simpson, “Close Curtains (Boom Baptist Remix)”

Guilty Simpson’s latest EP, Close Curtains, stays true to Guilty’s ear-to-the-street lyrics. Guilty hooked up with Austin’s Boom Baptist on this remix. Get a taste of “golden age hip-hop” for the 2012.

Guilty Simpson
“Close Curtains (Boom Baptist Remix)” (download mp3)
from “Close Curtains b/w Unbelievable”
((iN)Sect Records)
“Close Curtains (Boom Baptist Remix)” (play)

Controller Controller, “Silent Seven”

Controller Controller’s “Silent Seven” is an angular punky funky song about paranoia and the dumbing down of society. Sharp, socially conscious and witty, with a Gang Of Four meets early XTC sound, and an odd 80’s pop chorus quote thrown in for spice. Very cool stuff.

Silent Seven
(play/download mp3)

Laughingstock, “Like Texas”

Cinematic, spacious, and poetic, the songs of Laughingstock pull you in with layered textures while celebrating the victories, defeats, and spirituality of everyday life. “Like Texas” is a quiet little epic metaphor for America’s largest contradiction.

Like Texas (play/download mp3)

Buy the album as CD or MP3s at Amazon

Dub Gabriel, “Dis Song”

Dub Gabriel‘s influence must be from growing up in a record store his father owned in Chicago. Think Bill Laswell meets Peanut Butter Wolf and you might get an idea of where this cat is coming from. Bare, simple, but never boring production. Crisp drums with a world flare on his sample and percussion choices, “Dis Song” may not be up to speed with the bass centered dance scene, but it’s a refreshing siesta anytime of day.

Dis Song (play/download mp3)

Buy Dub Gabriel CDs

The Shins, “Kissing the Lipless”

The Shins combine beautifully crafted pop with inspirational hyper-intellectual lyrics. Hailing from Albuquerque, New Mexico, The Shins create music for smart pop connoisseurs. Their witty songwriting is a dream come true for Literature lovers like myself (and you). So put on your thinking cap and enjoy, smarty pants!

Kissing the Lipless (play/download mp3)

Buy their records and merch here, DIY all the way.