Since we’re all twiddling our thumbs and counting out 99 bottles of beer on the wall while this mass epidemic hijacks the world, we here at M3F thought it was the right time to try something new. It’s something that’s a little different, something a little out of left field, and something we’ve certainly never done before (but hey, it’s never too late to try baking that sourdough loaf, right?). Overall, it’s something we hope you’ll enjoy as much as we did while throwing these ideas against the wall.
We’re happy to introduce the first issue of the Ramble On Journal, a monthly newsletter that resembles more of an old school variety TV show than an actual newsletter. It’s a concoction of new music reviews, happenings in the music world, festival updates, a Spotify playlist, and whatever comes to mind. Enjoy!
Little Dragon - New Me, Same Us
Calling all Gorillaz and DJ Shadow fans. Yukimi Nagano and co. are back again with another lo- fi, downtempo slapper for their sixth studio release since the bands debut in 2007. As one of the more sonically expansive acts to come out of the Scandinavian electronic scene, Little Dragon has carved out a comfy niche following and separated themselves from big-name electronic acts that the country continues to pump out. It’s pretty plain to see they hardly resemble the house music Sweden is known for, opting for a low-key vibin’ approach rather than flashing lights and fist-pumping bass.
Their most recent release in New Me, Same Us delves deeper into their world of cascading bass riffs, soulful harmonies, Latin-infused rhythms, and slow jam-esque back beats. With their signature interweaving of electronic/hip-hop beats with R&B and soul melodies on full display with songs like “Every Rain,” “Hold On,” and “Rush,” it won’t be long until New Me, Same Us finds itself in the ranks with their 2015 Grammy-nominated release Nabuma Rubberband (pssst, check that one out too if you’re unfamiliar). Perhaps it’s no wonder why they’ve been enlisted by limelight acts like Gorillaz, Flume, Odesza, Mac Miller, De La Soul, and Jose Gonzalez along with vocal work for DJ Shadow, Raphael Saadiq, and Big Boi.
Sounds kinda like: old school hip-hop beat-master meets the chillest lounge DJ around.
Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
DYLAN MOST DYLAN
Hail, hail the greatest of them all. Opinions aside here, whether you have dug what he’s been dishing out for, oh, 50-60 years or so, “Murder Most Foul” is one of the most out-of-this-world, canonizing, and poetic releases of this year, not to mention of a career spanning back to the days of his 1962 self-titled album. For starters, it’s about 17 minutes long, surrounds the murder mystique of President Kennedy’s assassination, and tight-walks between a meandering blues tune and a full-fledged spoken word piece.
It’s whimsical, it’s dark, its cheeky, it’s everything Dylan has had to offer over the course of his career, and, most importantly, it’s his newest original release in years. Details pertaining to exactly when he wrote and recorded the track has the classic Dylan-ism mystery (hint: the public will most likely never know), and that’s exactly why he’s kept us waiting with baited breath and eager ears for so long.
Sounds kinda like: ha, shouldn’t even go there. How about a Dylan murder epic that’s 17 minutes long?
Jungle Fire - Jungle Fire
Here’s a spicy rug cutter for you. Warning: you may want to shake yourself up a margarita (or three), bust out that old Hawaiian shirt and whip up a mean batch of guacamole because Jungle Fire is here to take you on a cosmic odyssey through the Latino-funk universe.
The Los Angeles-based Afro-Soul/all-around-awesome group Jungle Fire has returned with their third studio LP. Conceived as a one-off jam project in 2011, the self-dubbed “Tropi-Funk” outfit has made quite the name for themselves touring with notable faces like Stevie Wonder, Ozomatli, Rhye, Alice Russell, De La Soul, Celia Cruz, Natalia Lafourcade, LCD Soundsystem, U2, and The Greyboy Allstars to name a few. And if you thought they were about to lose momentum after breaking onto the scene with 2014’s Tropicoso, their newest self-titled release is just as hot and sweaty as anything else they’ve released to date. There’s a little bit for everyone: some traditional cumbia with “Masa,” straight knock-out funk with “Slipshot” and “Smash & Grab,” a James-Bond-film-set-in-the-Caribbean-like number with “Quémalo,” and even a pinch of hip-shaking psych-disco with “OsciLAdope.” If this isn’t their most well- rounded release to date, it certainly is their most focused and the musicianship on display isn’t to be messed with.
Sounds kinda like: Blaring horns, Spanish nonsense being yelled in the background, shakers and bells, and unadulterated transcendental grooviness. Ah, sheer bliss...
So yea, back to that ol’ ‘everybody gotta social distance’ part. While we’re all counting fly specks or fine tuning our day drinking chops, artists are coming up with some neat ways to keep all of us music fiends glued to watching what they do best. From large-scale festival-like livestreams such as Willie Nelson’s Come and Toke It and Earthday Live to a slew of weekly streams by artists like SOFI TUKKER, Diplo, and Dillon Francis, there is certainly no shortage of live music to be seen. And for all of you purists and naturalists out there, bands like The Grateful Dead, Radiohead are dipping into their archives for weekly streams on various platforms. For all you ‘screw the old guard’ folks, Post Malone did a pretty darn good set of Nirvana covers with Travis Barker slapping the skins (yea, yea, we thought the same thing, but it’s definitely worth a peek). Shoot, even the Beatles released a new sing-a-long version of Yellow Submarine. Life isn’t that bad... right?
Also, take a gander at our Instagram page for some livestreams and merch specials. We are donating proceeds to touring musicians who are affected by this terrible tragedy. We will be hosting Y&S Live from the Ghost Town for our next installment. Hope to see you there and stay safe.