Major Lazer is a team of of producers Diplo and Switch (the latter of Santogold fame) in the vein of M.I.A. and Lykke Li. Their debut album, titled “Guns Don’t Kill People, Lazers Do”, does everything right with verses from Santogold, Mr Lexx, Nina Sky, Ricky Blaze and the like. “Can’t Stop Now” is a near perfect rock steady song and they nail dance hall with their first single “Hold the Line”. They do everything I’d been looking for in a dance pop record and a few things I didn’t know I was looking for like auto tuning a baby.
Meaner than your average Peruvian from the mid 60′s, Los Saicos were active for 3 years and released no LP’s, but are mentioned along with The Sonics and MC5 as the best of the early days of garage rock. Their anthem “Demolición”, primarily about blowing up a train station, is far and away their best known song. Later this year a documentary about the Saicos is set to be released, cleverly titled Saicomania.
The annual compilation album to benefit The Red Hot Organization fighting AIDS throughout the world, Dark Was the Night is an incredible album of new and rare songs from huge indie artists. The record features tracks from The Arcade Fire, Yeasayer, Blonde Redhead, Grizzly Bear, Dirty Projectors and on and on. There is a new Sufjan Stevens song that has had me pray every night that his new album will sound like this. The much under appreciated MC Buck 65 then remixes the Sufjan Stevens song into a surprisingly unique hip hop track. Feist and Ben Gibbard (neither of whom have ever said no to a cover) team up to record a version of “Train Song” by Vashti Bunyan. They might be the first people I’ve heard cover that song and really nail it. Haunting in it’s valleys and epic at it’s peaks, “Train Song” hasn’t sounded better.
Hit up here for a playlist of this weeks artists.