The Beastie Boys. Giving a little bit of hope to old, white men everywhere.

Fantastic in every way.

Dylan LeBlanc writes great songs. He also likes railway tracks, stairs and blazers.

I found a great album at the weekend, Dylan LeBlanc’s, Paupers Field. If you’re of the Country persuasion, it’s a treat.

The video below is for his debut single, If Time Was For Wasting.  In it Dylan spends a lot of time loitering around either railway tracks or stairs.  The symbolism of this is lost on me.  Irrespective, he’s wearing a blazer, which makes him kind of the Rick Astley of Louisiana.

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A see-through toaster, Infographics, 48 hours and the year’s best album (clue: The National)

A few interesting things I’ve found or, more accurately, that have found me this week.

The see-through toaster

I want one of these.  For no reason other than I really like toast and this feels like it accords toast the respect it deserves.  We should all marvel at toast’s creation.  For the transformation of bread to toast, like the transformation of grass to fairway or couch to bed, brings us joy.

Infographics

Lots of discussion of the increasing use of infographics at the moment. I’d guess a lot of the interest has been driven by the UK election and some really useful graphical interpretations of events (below’s a widely circulated example highlighting the imbalance of votes to seats).  It’s from the very clever David McCandless of Information is Beautiful who I’ve written about before.

Then I found this Brazilian site that builds an infographic profile of all who have visited the site. Very sweet. (Click on the image for a better view.)

48 Hours

I love this idea for a magazine.  As the name suggests, it’s a magazine written, designed, edited and printed within 48 hours. It’s all based around one subject, with all contributions a different interpretation thereof. It’s like a magazine produced by digital working-bee, so feels wonderfully modern and quaint at the same time.

The National

Buy High Violet, the new album from The National.

The single, Bloodbuzz Ohio is brilliant.

So is Runaway (performed here live).

This is why I keep telling people to listen to hip-hop

I know lots of people don’t understand why I listen to hip-hop.  I know lots of people think my claim that many of the best lyrics (and much of the best writing full-stop) comes from hip-hop is nonsense.  But seriously, listen to this and tell me this isn’t insightful, clever and a little more than just ‘bouncy talking’ (as one of my friends recently described the legendary Tribe Called Quest track “Can I kick it?‘).

(What’s also brilliant about this is that I, rather unexpectedly, found it on the Hill & Knowlton London blog (courtesy of Matt Muir).  I struggle to think of a less likely source of freestyle hip-hop than the official blog of one of the world’s foremost Public Relations consultancies.  And I was there in the first place on the recommendation of @adlandsuit (a man who appears to be responsible for at least 10% of the commonsense, and 70% of the swearing, in the twitterverse).

If you ever need a ruckus raised…

I saw the Old Crow Medicine Show at the Powerstation last night. As advertised, they raised a ruckus.  They’ve got to be close to the best live band I’ve seen.

They’re touring. If you get a chance, do.

Speech Therapy

Not many music recommendations in recent times.  But here’s an album I’ve been enjoying for a couple of months. Speech Debelle’s, Speech Therapy.

To pretty much everyone’s surprise, this won the Mercury Prize in September.

It’s also the perfect support for my argument that good hip-hop is really just folk music without the sandals.

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Mr B, The Gentleman Rhymer would like to say ‘heellloooo’

I understand that no one else is going to find this as funny as I do.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the chances of hip-hop, banjos, blazers, cravates and pipe-smoking ever meeting in one place are marginal at best (at least outside my criminally unsuccessful 2006 audition for Australian Idol). And yet here they are.

I give you Mr B, The Gentleman Rhymer.

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