It’s days like today that make me fall in love all over again with the Internet. It is snowing like a motherfucker outside, and I pledged within seconds of waking that I wouldn’t be leaving the house today. Luckily all of the good music out these days is in digital-only form, so if like me you’re telling Mother Nature, “Fuck off, I’ve got a stash of frozen enchiladas and an Xbox,” you can still get some decent jams.
I just finished downloading And Justus for All, the new mix tape by Little Brother and Mick Boogie — it takes a minute, since it’s a 27-song monster and not a mini-album like Talib Kweli‘s recent free download Liberation — and I can already tell it kind of kills. The news that fan-favorite producer 9th Wonder was ditching his full-time status in the group had a lot of hip-hop geeks calling the next Little Brother record a fall-off without even hearing it. What they weren’t banking on — and, OK, I also believed the antihype for a second — is that Phonte and Big Pooh are still two of the smartest and most hilarious MCs working. Sure, Mick Boogie sometimes comes off like a bootleg 9th Wonder, but that’s not going to ruin my day or anything.
Stereogum posted earlier that Snowden has a remix available as a free download, at least for the time being. As a rule I try to avoid any band that sounds like Interpol, but Snowden doesn’t just share Interpol’s gloomy atmospherics — they’re also nearly as good at writing hooks. Their Anti-Anti took a while to grow on me, but I’ve ended up getting mildly hooked on it. None of these remixes take any big chances, but their crunchy electro bump should earn them a spot in either your “party” or “gym” playlist.
While we’re on the subject of workouts, Aesop Rock‘s contribution to the Nike + Original Run series is up at the iTunes music store today. If you didn’t hear about it when LCD Soundsystem dropped the debut Original Run track, the point of the series is that Nike commissioned a bunch of artists to write original 45-minute-plus songs that they hope you will use in conjunction with their iPod setup in your running workout. Given the tiny number of musicians I can imagine pulling off a feat like that, it sounds like a potential trainwreck. But like LCD’s James Murphy, Aesop Rock has put together an epic-length track that doesn’t ever get tedious. The basic musical theme runs through an extended series of build-ups and cool-downs that actually sounds like what I vaguely remember a workout run feeling like. If you’re not working out and you have a normal human attention span, I’m not sure what use you’ll have for the track, although I have a suspect (and hate myself for suspecting) that there will be at least one fanatic indie rap fan using it as the soundtrack to a vigorous sex session. Which, I guess, counts as a workout.