Sunday, July 19, 2009


Here's your first batch of recommendations! Amazon MP3 links are provided if you want to check out the rest of the album, and you can download the individual songs listed below with the Rapidshare link at the end of this post.

Mutiny, I Promise You by The New Pornographers
Headlining this week's track pack is a song from The New Pornographers' latest album, Challengers. I first discovered this band per the recommendation of my friend Skylar (more about him here and here) when their Twin Cinema album was released. While it remains my favorite of their albums, I've gotten almost as much enjoyment out of their latest release. Challengers is very accessible to the newcomers, while delivering that same catchy, power-pop sound fans have grown to love. The New Pornographers are like the soul food of indie music, offering heaping, fat portions of those hooks and arrangements that make us bounce in our seats as we pretend the air around us is actually a drum set. Or that might just be me.
Amazon MP3 Link

Shake Shake Tambourine (Black Tambourine) by Beck, remix by Adrock
If you've heard and enjoyed Beck's Guero, it's time to put the needle down on his remix album, Guerolito. Guerolito includes new arrangements of familiar Guero songs, with the results ranging from thrilling to downright puzzling. It's an adventure listen, but songs like Shake Shake Tambourine make it more than worth it. There's a lot more to enjoy on this album, so be sure to check out the rest if you dig this one.
Amazon MP3 Link

How We Ride (feat. Freeway) by Jake One
Jake One isn't too well known in the hip-hop community, but he's worked with quite a few familiar favorites, including Brother Ali, Keak Da Sneak, and Elzhi. It's a tough album to get into, especially for hip-hop newcomers like myself, but it's full of some pretty killer beats and mixes that'll have you hooked before long.
Amazon MP3 Link

I Buried A Bone by Blind Pilot
This song characterizes the gorgeous, simple melodies found throughout Blind Pilot's debut album 3 Rounds and a Sound. It can be a bit of a yawner, with many of their songs stopping just short of emotional connection in favor of a more conservative and at times jejune instrumentation. The horn embellishments found in this and other songs, however, are brought into play with excellence. Blind Pilot has a lot of potential, and what they've produced so far is definitely worth a listen.
Amazon MP3 Link

Pedestal by Portishead
This is a gem from one of my favorite albums of all time, Portishead's Dummy. The feel for this album is pretty well-exemplified in this song, with a heavy, downtempo feel permeated throughout the descending melodies. "Pedestal" introduces an almost jazzy feel, with the muted trumpet twisting and turning it's way through a simple and seductive solo as the haunting vocals mournfully cry out "No time, make or reason". Check out the album and some other Portishead if you find this one appealing.
Amazon MP3 Link

Well, that's all for this week! Let me know what you like (or dislike), and enjoy some new music!

RapidShare File Download (five MP3s contained in a .zip folder)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Welcome to XNRES

XNRES is now my music blog. Like so many of my past endeavors, I originally started this blog with a different intent, and have now decided to change it altogether before my previous vision could even come into fruition. After my philosophy class last Fall, I simply submerged myself into one of the most diverse, intense, profound adventures into the world of music I've ever experienced. My music library tripled in size, as my hunger for more only increased with every album I devoured.

In the past my favorite topics to blog about were areas in which I felt needed proper analysis and critique. I'm no less critical now than I was then, but have since come to realize that life, and those in my life, have far more to teach me than I them. So I listened.

And this is my solution: a music blog. From now on, what I hear, you hear (that is, if you can stand it). Before I get into the swing of things, I thought it'd be best to offer a little explanation as to how I plan to update this blog.

It's not a podcast.
I decided against yet another revival of JMix, my long-lost podcast, because the editing process is a pain, and I'd rather my audience not be forced to endure my disjointed commentary between every song. Instead, I'll be uploading a .zip folder to Rapidshare, where you can download the file and listen to the songs individually for yourselves. This is the weekly JMix.

It's all about the album.
Individual songs are great, but I'm a strong believer in the importance of listening to an album beginning to end—that is, viewing the work not as a few songs that are good and a few songs that we like less (or perhaps not at all), but as a single work that takes us through high and low points, some expected and others surprising, but all working together to communicate, convey, or portray something. My goal with the weekly JMix is that you, the listener, will be inspired to dig deeper into the artists' work. RIAA, take note!

Look forward to my first musically-oriented post in a few days. Until then, let me know what you think!