Friends, Romans, Flavor seekers, lend us your ears. This week we have another batch of winners on the Flavorpill mixtape: There are new tracks from Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen, not to mention sneak peeks of Chromeo’s next 12-inch and Nicki Minaj’s much-anticipated first album. Remember to right click + save as to download single tracks, or scroll to the bottom to get the whole bundle.
This traditional Mardi Gras Indian chant — brought to new heights of awesome by Tom Waits’ surly rasp — is being released on a commemorative 78 that benefits New Orleanian landmark the Preservation Jazz Hall. (It’s also available on the compilation CD Preservation.) You can buy it starting this Friday — and for a $200 donation, they’ll throw in a record player as well. If you have a finicky music format fetishist in your life (and don’t we all?) this is just the kind of holiday present they’ll adore. Plus, it goes towards keeping a legendary, booze-soaked venue alive. Win-win!
The Boss is back — as if he ever left — with a revamp of Darkness on the Edge of Town, plus an album full of tracks left over from those sessions billed as The Promise. The songs in this set are Springsteen at his best, in a sort of harmonica-induced post-Born to Run coma. There’s the same wistful energy, the same lush arrangements, the same fist-pumping choruses, but just a little more introspection — more room for the Boss to explore. Don’t try to resist.
It seems like we’ve been waiting forever for Nicki Minaj’s debut album, Pink Friday, to drop. Her barbed verses cut through the mellow rhymes of everyone from Drake to Lil Wayne, but the first singles to emerge from her album are curiously devoid of Minaj’s rapping chops, instead focusing on her singing. “Moment for Life” moves in the right direction, but it’s not quite there — more crooning than spitting, more on the Rihanna/Beyonce side than the Missy Elliott bank. Note that this is Drake’s second sung marriage proposal to Minaj. It may be only a matter of time.
4. “Oops, I Did It Again” by Alina Simone (Britney Spears cover)
Every month, esteemed borough bloggers Brooklyn Based have decided that they’re going to release a little goodness out onto the internet by recording a track from a Brooklyn artist and offering it up for free on their site. November’s serving is a breathy, acoustic Britney Spears cover from singer-songwriter Alina Simone, who’s also recorded an album of covers of Russian pop star Yanka Dyagileva. Keep it up, Brooklyn Based! We can’t wait for next month’s track.
Canadian electronic indie poppers the Russian Futurists have a new album, The Weight’s on the Wheels, coming out this month. “Hoeing Weeds, Sowing Seeds” is the first track off it, and it’s a fitting introduction: witty, winding lyrics matched up against meticulously rendered foot-stomping compositions.
Saadi is a kind of post-colonialist mash-up artist, born in Syria and based in Brooklyn but infatuated by British experimentalist Brian Eno. Her new EP Clothesline is a study in this global patchwork: part jagged, glitchy beats and part sweet post-punk thumping, cobbled together in an eerily cohesive work.
Easy, muted disco from this boyfriend-girlfriend duo, who just released their debut album. “Bermuda” is the kind of song that would be great to wind down a party — dance-y but suggestive, with a tinge of melancholy. The party’s over, but there’ll be another one.
8. “Hot Mess” by Chromeo (12″ remix ft. La Roux)
As if Chromeo’s third record, Business Casual, wasn’t enough, the intrepid duo has released another version of the track “Hot Mess” that ups the synth quotient and throws in the voice of La Roux frontlady Elly Jackson. The new “Hot Mess” single drops in early 2011 — so add it to your list of resolutions.
We’ve already broken down the samples from Girl Talk’s newest album, All Day, and reminded you to go download your free copy over at Illegal Art. But have we extolled the virtues of the new album? No? Well, suffice to say that your holiday party playlist is taken care of. The mash-up maestro brings it, and brings it hard, matching up songs with a measure of knowingness that will delight music nerds everywhere. Or just make them dance. Whichever.
The newest member of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, Jay Electronica is a smooth-rhyming upstart with indie-rock sensibilities. His “Shiny Suit Theory” features a slow as sizzurp flow over a catchy sample of the Ambassadors, a new-school rapper with an old, Soul Train feel. Bring on that album, Jays!