Tag Archives: Stones Throw

Sam’s Top 23 Songs of 2016

11 Jan

(Sequenced for flow – not ranking – purposes.)

Tyvek “Choose Once” (In the Red)
My single of the year, from my album of the year. So raw, so good.

Mass Gothic “Every Night You’ve Got to Save Me” (Sub Pop)
Family Sing-Along Song of the Year honors go to this raucous doo-wop jam.

DIIV “Under the Sun” (Captured Tracks)
Shining down from a shimmering crack in the clouds that hung over 2016.

A Tribe Called Quest “We the People…” (Epic)
I could have chosen any of a half dozen tracks off this album but this here’s the anthem, get your damn hands up.

Francis and the Lights w/ Bon Iver “Friends” (KTTF)
Alan Parsons meets auto-tuned R&B meets, well, Bon Iver.

KAYTRANADA “LITE SPOTS” (XL)
Half this song is impossible to dance to; the other half is impossible not to dance to.

De La Soul “Royalty Capes” (AOI)
I wish this album had been more fulfilling than my anticipation of it, but there are some real gems amidst the scattershot experiments. This one’s about why a guy can’t find vintage De La on any of the streaming services.

Homeboy Sandman “Heart Sings” (Stones Throw)
Homeboy Sandman w/ I Am Many “Real New York”
(Stones Throw)
Sometimes he rhymes slow, sometimes he rhymes quick.

Beach Slang “Spin the Dial” (Polyvinyl)
“I was born at the bottom
But I never belonged
I’m hardly ever right
But I’ve never been wrong”
Could’ve been ripped straight from Paul Westerberg’s notebook.

The Men “Dreamer” (We Are the Men)
What you’d imagine to be playing anytime a parent pounds on their teen’s bedroom door and yells, “Turn it down!”

The Radio Dept. “Committed to the Cause” (Labrador)
A slinky statement of a song with hints of Prefab Sprout and St. Etienne.

Parquet Courts “Steady on My Mind” (Rough Trade)
Mmmn, Velvet-y.

Grandaddy “A Lost Machine” (Sony)
Man, this album can’t come soon enough…

James Blake “Love Me in Whatever Way” (Polydor)
That laugh track makes this even more heartbreaking than your average James Blake song.

ot to, not to w/ Noah Smith “Regretta I” (Other People)
Listen very closely.

The xx “On Hold” (Young Turks)
I know their 15 minutes of fame should be long gone, but that Hall & Oates sample…

Sonny & the Sunsets “Needs” (Polyvinyl)
The album where Sonny fell in love with a drum machine and made some goofy babies like this one.

Sunflower Bean “I Was Home” (Fat Possum)
Critics fawned over their debut but I found most of the album kinda boring. That said, this single is some transcendent psych rock amazingness.

Terry Malts “Used to Be” (Slumberland)
Terry Malts has been to me in the early 20-teens what The Wedding Present was to me in the early 1990s – completely durable and indispensible.

The Intended “Don’t Wait Too Long” (In the Red)
Rollicking goodness from Detroit’s garage (or basement, as the case may be) scene.

Leonard Cohen “It Seemed the Better Way” (Sony)
I’m a man of faith but after a year like this one, I get it. I really do.

David Bowie “Lazarus” (ISO/Columbia)
As my grandmother was bedridden and dying of cancer she’d ask my mom to open the curtains so she could watch the birds in the tree outside her window. When I first heard the bluebird line, I crumbled into a sobbing mess. Bowie gave until the very end…ain’t that just like him?

Boardwalk

29 Dec

Boardwalk is the Los Angeles based duo Mike Edge and Amber Quintero. They met through mutual acquaintances in 2012 and released their debut, self-titled LP with Stones Throw in the fall of 2013.

Dreamy, fuzzed-out vocals and lo-fi instrumentations of “Crying” (below) make it one of the standout tracks on the album. Boardwalk is available in whichever media suits your fancy on Stone Throw’s site. Enjoy.

Homeboy Sandman

31 Dec


I can often spot a musician’s child after just a few bars. But I couldn’t have told you what the son of heavyweight-boxer-turned-community-lawyer sounds like until I heard Homeboy Sandman. And yet it somehow makes perfect sense. HBSM’s low-key timbre and minimalist production aesthetic belie his wicked talent for socially responsible wit and infectious wordplay. He goes hard without the crutches of stacks, gats, or tricks. His verses duck and weave, bouncing you off double negatives and triple entendres until you don’t know which way is up — and don’t care. It’s a good kinda dizziness and he’s been serving it all year long: to the tune of two EPs and a full-length(!). These downloads offer a good taste of his steez but make sure you check his coup de gras, “Look Out” from the Chimera EP, before you cast any final verdicts.

Cops Get Scared of Me from Chimera EP (2012)
The Miracle from Subject: Matter EP (2012)

And here’s a special treat from a limited edition split 7-inch with Jaylib on the flip…

Mayer Hawthorne

25 Dec

A smooth Christmas rebirth.

James Pants

18 May

Good evening. I’m going to try very very hard not to make any “Pants” jokes here. O.k. — Let’s do this. He impressed Mr. Peanut Butter Wolf and now he’s impressing us with his neon-bathed, wheel-pitched funk. A sneak peak at the new album from James Pants, “Ka$h” draws a lot of comparison to Prince, Pharrell and the ’80s. More specifically, I would say it dates back when nerds *weren’t* cool, and Mr. Nelson was knocking the genres of the day on their sorry asses. There’s a DRM version out there now, but I’m holding out more. You could say I can’t wait for the rest of these Pants to drop. Ah, crap. I’m soooo sorry.

Dan Sicko (special guest to 3hive.com)

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The Heliocentrics

4 Oct

I can’t promise you these tracks will be up long, so get ‘em while the gettin’s good. Malcolm Catto leads the nine-piece Heliocentrics for a crazy, funked-up ride into the far reaches of jazz’s space time continuum. I don’t know what that means either, but it’d take up way too much space attempting to pin down The Heliocentrics sound. They didn’t call it Out There for nothing. It sounds retro, like a James Brown outtake, but Catto’s been spending the present-day diggin’ deep for funk 45s, drumming for DJ Shadow and Madlib, and releasing a solo LP on James Lavelle’s Mo’ Wax Records (the “Untitled” track below is a sample of an unreleased song from those sessions). “Sirius B” is just 1/24 of the electro-free-jazz-space-out The Heliocentrics have unleashed on an unsuspecting and unworthy world.

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Aloe Blacc

6 Dec

I’m ashamed to admit I would have passed this guy up if I had to gone on name alone. Not to be a jerk, but Aloe Blacc?? Are we really running out of stage names? What’s wrong with Nathanial Dawkins? But, after taking in his magnificient R&B gem “I’m Beautiful” for the first time, I got over my prejudice real quick. This guy’s voice is pure enough to invoke comparisons to Motown legends. His debut, Shine Through has just the right amount of polish (despite being recorded in a makeshift bedroom studio) and draws from a rich array of musical influences, old and new. If most Stones Throw releases reek of chronic (not that I’m complaining, mind you), this joint’s a breath of fresh air. Inhale.

Stones Throw took down the “I’m Beautiful” MP3, but you still get a lovely B-side from the single.

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Percee P

7 Jan

The Rhyme Inspector Percee P!! I can’t think of another living rap artist to build such a massive rep on just a handful of solo tracks. Fortunately, he’s always down for a collaboration, such as this percussion-crazy track with Four Tet. He’s also allegedly working on a solo album (produced by Madlib!) due out…well, it was summer of 2005. So the single “Put It on the Line” on Stones Throw on Wax may have to last you a while.

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Sound Directions

4 Oct

An extra treat for you today: Madlib keeping the funk alive with a full crew of session musicians. Members of The Dap Kings, Antibalas, and Breakestra, all pitch in and bring breakbeats to old-school jazz greats Oliver Sain, and J.J. Johnson. Snag the tracks while you can, Stones Throw links are usually good for a limited time. Heads up via: Enemy of the Crate

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Koushik

24 Jul

Remember trip-hop? Anyone still out there doing it well? Massive Attack, Portishead and their Bristol neighbors usually got stuck with the moniker, but artists such as Caribou, Four Tet, and their buddy Koushik are tripping out hip-hop with their own set of sound biases (psychedelic melodies paired with slowed-down funk rhythms — imagine Greyboy remixing The Byrds, or early [good] Bee Gees).

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