Each week ListenUp scrolls through pages and pages of tweets to retrieve some quality — albeit random — tunes found through the power of Twitter's #musicmonday hashtag. This week's venture brings us tracks by Carolina Chocolate Drops, Fieldmouse and Mark Ronson.
Carolina Choclate Drops "Cornbread & Butterbeans"
Tweeted by Mother Jones (@motherjones) who said:
"What happens when the Carolina Chocolate Drops’ Rhiannon Giddens hits “shuffle”? http://su.pr/33Be2b #musicmonday #mm"
Anyone following music in our region the past few years has likely heard the name Carolina Chocolate Drops, but sadly we admit we hadn't really bothered to find out what this talented trio was all about until seeing them come across Twitter today. Reading Mother Jones' accompanying interview, this snippet pretty much sums up the band for folks who may be as unfamiliar as we were:
This young North Carolina trio—solid multi-instrumentalists and protégés of 91-year-old African American fiddler Joe Thompson—have set out to revive the nearly extinct tradition of black old-time string bands. In their five years of existence, they've recorded five albums, toured with blues great Taj Mahal, performed on NPR's Prairie Home Companion, were the first black string band ever to play the Grand Ole Opry—not that the Opry deserves them—and have been winning over new fans at a rapid clip.
Listening to the clip provided in the article we came across "Genuine Negro Jig" a stripped down fiddle and stomp based track that showcases the simplicity of the band's classical sound. While there was something undeniably attractive about this song, it wasn't something you could listen to in a casual setting. But delving a bit deeper into the band's offerings we found interesting covers of Blu Cantrell's hit "Hit 'Em Up Style" and the song featured above "Cornbread & Butterbeans" an old-style bluegrass romp.
It's still hard to imagine jamming to these guys in your car, but in a world where so many acts sound the same, they definitely deserve alot of credit for doing something WAY different.
Tweeted by Fieldmousemusic (@fieldmousemusic) who said:
"Download "You Are Here" for FREE • http://fieldmouse.bandcamp.com #musicmonday"
You can never get sick of free music, especially when it's the quality of this Brooklyn-based band's debut release, "You Are Here". The band, which is vocalist/songwriter Rachel Browne and collaborator Andrew Futral, is melodic and dreamy throughout the effort, but mixes up their sound with each track taking on different overtones. There will be rock-like elements such as driving drums and grungy beats one minute and pop-like structures and strumming the next. Overall, it's a beautifully composed conglomerate of indie rock/dreampop that is well worth the $0 you're going to spend downloading it from Fieldmouse's bandcamp site.
Mark Ronson & The Business Intl feat. Q-Tip - "Bang Bang Bang"
Tweeted by KK, Washington, D.C. (@1katydid)
"Bang Bang Bang" -Mark Ronson ft MNDR & Q-tip. The summer jam I wish I had in July. #musicmonday
This first single off of Ronson's recently-released "Record Collection" album isn't exactly new, it's been tearing up YouTube since it's release in July, but it's definitely worth a watch if you haven't seen it. The trippy Tron-meets-talkshow video has been getting all the attention, but lost in that talk are the superb verses put forth by one of the greatest rappers of all-time — in our humble opinion — Q-Tip. The former Tribe Called Quest MC rips up Ronson's beat while singer MDNR provides the catchy, French-laden hook.
And if you like this one, also be sure to check out Ronson's latest europop vs. hip-hop single "The Bike Song" featuring Falconer and Spank Rock.