If you were to create a bionic band that compresses together the dazzling rhythms of B.T. Express, the sexy vocals of Prince, and the electro-funk sensibility of Afrika Bambaataa, you'd wind up with something similar to Plantlife. It's hard to pigeonhole the L.A. band's style, but like predecessors James Brown and Sly Stone, Plant Life has a knack for capturing the true essence of heartfelt soul music.
With spring in the air and Mother's Day just around the corner, we're getting in touch with our sensitive side here at Download Music. This week we're gonna slow it down a bit and send this one out to all the ladies. In the tradition of the Beastie Boys' 1989 song "To All The Girls," modern-day crooners (Justin Timberlake and Flight of the Conchords) are keeping the dedication-style love song alive, while iconic ladies men named "Kenny" (Kenny Rogers and Kenny G) remain tender-hearted. Listen to our free Dear Ladies playlist by clicking … Read more
What's up this week on Crossfade TV? Find out what Mike, Anngie, and Kurt have to say about soul-funk group Orgone (a "no-brainer," says Mike, for fans of Sharon Jones and Amy Winehouse), Oxford dance-pop group Foals, and the dark, moody new Gutter Twins project, featuring former grunge gods Greg Dulli (of Afghan Whigs) and Mark Lanegan (of Screaming Trees).
Crossfade TV is a joint production of CNET TV and Download Music. Tune in each week for the lowdown on our favorite new bands.
Straight-ahead just wasn't enough. Now Gnarls Barkley is offering its latest album, The Odd Couple, in the revolutionary new 'backwards' format. Yep, that's right: the whole album in one file, all running back to front. On top of that you don't even have to pay for it, as it's available right on the spot as a totally free download (the registration is quick and simple). Unlistenable? Or...better than the original?
On Crossfade TV this week, the Download Music crew checks out a cool new set of previously unreleased recordings and interviews from the late jazz/blues/gospel/soul artist Nina Simone called Protest Anthology; a few new songs from electronic artist UFO! (not to be confused with the Brits who brought you the classic-rock staple "Too Hot Too Handle"); and the brand-new album from Sun Kil Moon, the name Mark Kozelek seems to be sticking with (after long-ago retiring his previous band name, Red House Painters).
Crossfade TV is a collaboration between Download Music and CNET TV.
Every year at SXSW, you can hardly walk down Sixth Street without catching wind of some artist or another who's "the one" on the verge of a breakout. This year, though, one of the biggest buzz acts was definitely Duffy, a petite blond Welsh singer who's debut album, Rockferry, is currently No. 1 in the U.K. (it's scheduled to be released stateside in May). Because her first single, the hook-filled "Mercy," had just begun making the rounds, few in Austin had actually heard her music--but a lot had heard about her. Her showcase at Stubb's Saturday night was plenty full.
Duffy got an ear-catching 1960s pop-soul style that channels vintage singers such as Dusty Springfield, Jackie DeShannon, and Sammi Smith. Comparisons to Amy Winehouse (who made her U.S. debut at last year's SXSW) ran rampant, though truth is they're only vaguely justified: both artists have obvious love for a vintage '60s R&B sound, but Duffy's is big, wide, and lush--polished, even--while Winehouse keeps things funkier and more raw.… Read more