If you're looking for new music to enjoy in your backyard this summer, go cop "Modern Vampires of the City." The album is more evolutionary than revolutionary, despite my previous concerns to the contrary--it still sounds like a Vampire Weekend joint. Working this album into your summertime musical evening rotation will serve you well.
Kanye West's new album "Yeezus" (which is a portmanteau of Yeezy, Kanye's nickname, and Jesus, the name of the son of God ... Jay-Z previously did something similar when he called himself "Jayhova the God MC") comes out on June 18 (i.e., tomorrow) and recently leaked to the world through, of all random things, the internet. Kanye gives no fucks at all about this potential copyright misappropriation. I, however, have a long-standing respect for copyrighted material so I haven't listened to the album. You will doubtlessly hear it banged hard this summer at the beach, from the windows of luxury cars driven by the owner's children, and eventually during TV timeouts at sporting events. Get it now so that when the beat to the big commercial jam drops you can nod your head and say "Aw yeah" in synch with the people around you who are at least a decade younger.
Speaking of copyrights ... Mayer Hawthorne's new album drops July 16 and his label must've spent oodles clearing the copyrights for the video trailer:
I remember when musicians had to clear samples, not video, but I'm old. The new album promises to continue Hawthorne's tradition of funky-ass-white-boy-ed-ness but with more of a 70's sound and less of a Motown vibe. For example, Her Favorite Song will doubtlessly remind you of Herbie Hancock's Chameleon (or in Mark's case, Digital Underground's Underwater Rhymes):
And "Reach Out Richard," written for Hawthorne's father, unmistakably sounds like Steely Dan:
"Designer Drug," which may or may not be on the new album, reminds me of MJ's Off the Wall:
I predict that it will be an excellent album for grown-ass-but-funky-ass-old-men like us to tastefully rock in public and in group settings. The album is at least partially produced by Pharrell, who recently played a similar role in Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" and its preposterously NSFW video. If "Blurred Lines" doesn't sample Michael Jackson's "Whew!" and rip off Marvin Gaye's Got to Give it Up then I'm Quincy Jones. Regardless, it's a decent summertime confection for the aforementioned grown-ass-but-funky-ass-old-men demographic.
Now go forth and musically dominate your neighborhood block party. But please remember to wear sunscreen.
*****SPECIAL BONUS MUSIC*****
If you really want to pull some grown-ass-man-shit at your next BBQ, Mayer Hawthorne did the legwork for you and put together the following hour-long mix titled "Soul With A Hole Vol. 1."