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Real time Adventures // KCRW

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2012 was my second year at the Austin music festival and by then I had already become a pro at finding my way around town, finding cheap hotels, escape routes after hours from the traffic and where to eat. This year Im gearing up for my 3rd year at the festival and excited to blog and document all the madness for KCRW. I find it easy to plan lightly every morning via the schedule and just float like the breeze. Allow changes, sit in on music panels during the day and always, ALWAYS recharge at the Convention Center!  And purchase a music badge! Ive met so many artists, movers and shakers who avoid picking up a badge and complain how the festival sucked. The music badge gets you into events, avoid lines, receive a booklet with ALL the shows and guarantees you an amazing experience! Otherwise your stuck on 6th Street  or local bars. Not that anything is wrong with 6th Street! I find some great bands playing there but just trust me!  Purchase your badge here.

I was randomly searching through my pictures of last year’s pictures and found so many cool photos in my instagram feed. Das Racist, Miles Bonny, Theophilus London, Mobb Deep, Nardwaur, some toothless chola who offered me vices of my choice, Sonnymoon, The Stepkids, Homeboy Sandman , Fiona Apple and J Sole all popped up. I try to explain to friends that I approach SXSW as an adventurer and as a music fan. Id much rather bypass the smoozing and business card exchange in the VIP lounge for some live shows, loud guitars and photo snapping. It’s like that movie “Almost Famous” but on steroids.  If your out there I’d love to see you!  Give me a hollar!  Email is below!

 anthony.valadez@kcrw.com

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One of the most amazing and fun shows that I have done on KCRW these past 5 years.  Showcasing some of my personal favorites for 3 hours straight was lots of fun.  This year we got to break artists like Frank Ocean, The Weeknd, Erimaj and so much more. Some of these are gems that I slept on as well but finally took out the record crates and aired this year as well. I hope you dig this session! Kendrick, Tijoux, Kwes, Miguel and Homeboy Sandman are all included!  Also peep the preview of 2013 with gems from Owusu and Jose James! Whatcha waiting for? Push play!! Turn it up!

>> Listen here!   |  Download Hour One here!   <<

Quantic and Alice Russell – I’ll Keep My Light In My Window
Frank Ocean – Crack Rock
Justo Betancourt – Catano (Whiskey Baron Cumbia Dub Mix)
Terry Callier – Just My Imagination (Love To Love You Mix)
Erimaj – Nothing Like This
How to Dress Well – & It Was You
Moon Boots – Off My Mind
Yuna – Live Your Life (Melo X Motherload God Mix)
Daphni – Cos Ber Zam

Break

Poolside – Slow Down
Miguel – Wheres The Fun In Tomorrow?
Kendrick Lamar – Poetic Justice
Kendrick Lamar – Swimming
Kendrick Lamar – Backstreet Freetsyle
TNGHT – Goooo
Flying Lotus – See Thru U (Feat. Erykah Badu
Kwes – Rollerblade
V – Poison
Joe – Clap Trap (Sabbo Edit)
Homeboy Sandman – Not Really
Mala – Tourist

Break

Hiatus Kaiyote – Nakamarra
Nai Palm – Dr. Jekyll
Wriggly Scott – Back and Forth
Bobby Taylor – Malinda
Gary Clark Jr – Blak And Blu
Attic Tree – Voar
Jessie Ware – Night Light (Perseus)
XXYYXX – About You

Break

Disclosure – Latch (T Williams Club Edit) Feat Sam Smith
Mark De clive Lowe – Get Started (Full Crate Remix) Feat Omar
New Look – Janet
Inverse Cinematics – One (DITD Re-Rub)
Jonathan Boulet – This Song Is Called Ragged (Dro Carey Remix)
Gil Scott Heron – The Bottle (J Boogie/Bloodfire/Kenny Dope Edit)
Stevie Wonder – All I Do (Cleptomaniacs Club Mix)
Zed Bias and Sam Frank – Night Lovers (C.R.S.T Remix)

Break

SOHN – Redlines
SOHN – THE WHEEL
BOYZ II MEN – Can You Stand The Rain (Burn Water Remix)
Cashmere Cat – Mirror Maru
Sango – Pa Tras (trap)
Scoop Deville – The Recipe (Remix)
The Weeknd – Rolling Stone
Jhene Aiko – Mirrors

Break

Janet Jackson – If (Kaytranda Remix)
Gazeebo – Cowbells and Lasers
Captain Planet – Yallahs
Eliphino – No More
Jesse Rose – Day Is Done (Feat Hot Chip)
Submotion Orchestra – Blind Spot (Opal Boock Remix)
Flako – Mating Dance
Falty DL – Straight And Arrow

Break

Phillip Owusu
Ana Tijoux – Volver
Ana Tijoux – Las horas (Feat. Solo Di Medina)
Jose James – Trouble
Major Lazer – Get Free (Feat Amber Coffman ofDirty Projectors)
Rudimental – Not Giving In (bondax Remix)
Karriem Riggins – Summer Madness

Break

Cody ChesnuTT – Chips Down (In No Landfill)
Meshell Ndegeocello – Feeling Good

I hate these things. Especially when 2012 was a year of great albums! And most importantly, what generates a great album of the year? I base it on wether it that album can stand the test of time. Can I listen to it over and over? In the gym? In the car? At home? In the headphones? Does it move me? Does it sonically fit into what I might enjoy? I’ve had the pleasure of sitting in the car for various long drives and flights and have enjoyed these albums through out the test of time.

Not only was this past year an amazing year for music but a great year for self releases. 3 of the albums below were self releases. While a couple others were released on smaller labels. Im also happy to see the big label releases put out something strong and new.  Im kinda kicking myself in the ass by leaving out other amazing album such as releases from Michael Kiwanuka, The XX, Poolside, Robert GlasperZulu Guru and Domenico and many others, but these are the 10 stand out’s with out any doubts. Let me know yours!  I hope you dig!

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10.

Quantic w/ Alice Russell – Look Around The Corner 
I remember Bobbito Garcia telling me how the title track was in constant rotation in his head. He was right. I can’t tell you how many times this song remained in my head. I’ll Keep My Light In My Window was the song that sealed it for me. I think this track remained in rotation for almost a month on my radio show. Quantic always tends to lay down vintage instrumentation true to authentic sound, but with Alice Russell on vocals it becomes something special and timeless. Listen to her guest dj set here from a few years back!

9.

Rainy Milo – Limey 
It might be an EP but it stands out among the many releases of 2012. Im looking forward to hearing more from this London vocalist. Limey captures a certain vibe with mellow vibes. I was hoping for somewhere on this EP to pick up the pace but in retrospect I realized that each song blends into the next and continues the tone. And Rainy Milo’s voice is something different and new!  Here is a taste!

8.

XXYYXX – XXYYXX
From the States with oversea’s flavor from a 17 year old. About You is one of my top songs of 2012 coming in at about 40-50 bpm’s a minute.  It’s a clean electronic record that explore’s various time beat structures and sounds. Watch this incredible video directed by Vash for About You.

7.

Me’shell Ndegeocello – Pur Une Ame Souveraine – A Dedication To Nina Simone
Sure you might think I am biased with Me’shell. After Bitter, Comfort Woman and The World Has Made Me Into The Man Of My Dreams and Weather, I really could not tell what direction Me’shell might head into.  But a series of Nina Simone cover’s and renditions feels right. Me’shell reworks these songs with her flavor. When I first heard Feelin Good I instantly put this song on repeat. It was haunting, moving and just hit me like a rock.

6.

Cody ChesnuTT – Landing On A Hundred 
I never thought I would hear a well produced and high end quality Cody record, then again I never thought I’d hear another Cody record in general. Stand out tracks like What Kind Of Cool (Will We Think Of Next) continue on the conscience narrative where Cody left off with this 2002 debut.  But Chip Down (In No Landfill) is hands down my favorite song of 2012!

5.

Frank Ocean – Channel Orange 
I had the pleasure of sitting in a studio with Chris Douridas and Frank Ocean listening to this album from start to finish. I remember everyone in the room being speechless. I live tweeted the listening with tons of quotable from the young singer/songwriter. Songs like Pyramids and Crack Rock instantly struck me. It’s an impressive and mature sounding record complete with interludes that take you on a journey.

4.

Flying Lotus – Until The Quiet Comes 
Fly Lo continues to explore time signatures and the marriage between beats and live instrumentation like no one’s business.  I could hit track 1 and let it play on repeat and enjoy the looped journey.  UTQC shows Fly Lo’s growth and fearless path of going into new directions. In many way’s this album is this generation’s Bitches Brew.  Quote me on that!  Listen to a young Fly Lo in 2006 as we sat down during my college years at KCSN to talk about the beat scene, his ambitions and inspirations.

3.

Hiatus Kaiyote – Tawk Tomahawk
Melbourne’s answer to all things hip and soulful across the the world. If you listened to my radio show this year odds are you heard one of the amazing songs on it.  Nai Palm, vocalist of the band, is a force to be reckoned with!  She recently recorded a live session in my living room which just sent shivers down my spine.  At times there are some amazing short pieces that I wish were longer but then BAM! You get hit with Mobius Streak or Nakamarra that just melt your heart to pieces.

2.

Ana Tijoux – La Bala
Some folks can tell you where they were when JFK was assassinated. Some even remember where they were when Pearl Harbor occurred. I can tell you exactly where I was when I put La Bala into my cd player in my car.  I was stuck on the 10 heading to the Natural History Museum for a gig. Every song had blended into the next. Ana killed ever line! Every kick and snare hit hard. The mix was special! The soul was present. It was part world, soul, electronic, latin and hip hop. It was everything I loved in and from music but with attitude and delivered with ease.

1.

Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid: m.AA.d City 
It’s been a minute if not years that I could pop in a hip hop album and listen to its entirety, let alone beyond the first verse. After giving this album several lessons I had come to the conclusion that this album is the equivalent of Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda. This record has layers, levels and hidden worlds.  Songs exist in songs. The Art of Peer Pressure reminds me of Massive Attacks’s Blue Lines while Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst is easily the best hip hop song possibly of the past 10 years.  And just when you think a club banger like Backseat Freestyle is about to get fun and dumb, Kendrick changes up his pitch and vocal range keeping the listener on edge. Its an absolute journey from start to finish. And big kudos for the addition of Sonnymoon’s Anna Wise on Real and Just Blaze for the amazing production on Compton!

HONORABLE MENTION

Anthony Valadez – Just Visiting
I spent countless hours attempting to make a record that sonically captured where I was at at that moment in my life. I attempted to create a body of music that was worthy of the amazing vocalist and musicians who lent their talents to this album. At times I thought I was a weirdo going into different directions but i had a vision in mind and looking back and listening to the album has me very proud. It’s a solid album!

What a night! So great to rock the party with the Dublab fam, Votolatino, the amazing staff at Grand Park and of course my fellow Angeleno’s who gathered, camped, broke out blankets and enjoyed the coverage of the 2012 elections. Every time CNN had breaking results you could hear the unison of gasps across the park. Every time President Obama picked up states you could hear a gigantic roar! It reminded me of a homerun roar at Dodger Stadium! If you came out I hope you had a ball!  Wether you voted R or D, we were all family!  So great to see so many friends and fam hanging out!

(Holla at cha boy on CNN)

The last time I played Grand Park the Mayor showed up! Jeremy Sole and I rocked for the CivicLA bike riders and this time we unite LA during election night to observe results complete w/ big screen monitors, food trucks and all in the comfort of DTLA’s Grand Park!  I’m excited to play records alongside my Dublab fam under the LA sky. And it’s free!! More info on the GrandPark FB page or Grand Park’s official site.