Welcome back to another Tuesdays With Lazerbeak! The holiday season is officially upon us, and there’s only one more Tuesday left in 2015 after this post. That means we’re less than two weeks out from the very last Doomtree crew show of the year: New Year’s Eve at International Market Square for the massive Crystal Ball party! Check out this short and sweet promo clip to get us all extremely pumped for the last night of the year.
Speaking of less than two weeks (SEGUE 4 EVA), that’s how much time is left on our absolutely outrageous December Blowout Webstore Sale! You can still get 20% off of all $100 orders, 10% off of all $50 orders, plus crazy discounted bundles and amazing deals on over half the items on the store. Check out the sale right HERE and treat yourself to something nice!
One of the items you can pick up on the webstore is the new Mixed Blood Majority album Insane World, still available in special standard and deluxe editions. This record has been out for a little over two weeks now, and it’s been awesome to see all the positive reviews and mentions pouring in.
Less than two months ago we were still desperately tracking vocals for this thing, and in that time we managed to knock out tracking, mixing, post-production, mastering, artwork, manufacturing, release date, and CRAZY RELEASE SHOW. By far the fastest I’ve ever worked to release something, and that’s seriously saying something given Doomtree’s track record. Still a little hard for me to believe it all came together the way it did. For real not trying to humble brag too hard here, just wanted to give some insight into the process for this one. I think a big reason why I’m so proud of it and why I like it so much is because it still feels so fresh and new. If you haven’t checked it out yet, make sure to grab a physical copy at the Webstore HERE, or a digital version at iTunes (HERE) or Bandcamp (HERE). We really appreciate all the support. Still haven’t wiped this smile off my face from the release show a few weeks back. Feeling like a BAWSE.
Matter of fact, we had such a good time at First Ave that we decided to put another date on the books over there in 2016. Mixed Blood Majority will be playing The Current’s 11th annual Birthday Party show at First Ave on Friday, 1/22 with a star-studded local lineup of Low, John Mark Nelson, Bad Bad Hats, and Bones & Beeker! SO PUMPED FOR THIS ONE. Tickets are going fast, so grab yours right HERE.
Just one week after that, Sims will head back to First Ave to play a huge solo set at our friend Sean Anonymous’ annual Birthday Party show on January 29th. Pretty amazing lineup on this one: Sims, Sean Anonymous, Greg Grease, Crunchy Kids, and Sophia Eris. Should be a great night. Check out the details on the flyer below and grab your tickets HERE.
I think that about does it for all of the Doomtree news this post, which means you should definitely prepare yourself for me to GO OFF about this week’s Album Bonus Jams double feature. I for real discovered two of my favorite albums of 2015 in the last week and it has been absolutely blowing my mind. Let’s start with Babyface and his untouchable Return of the Tender Lover album.
I’ve been a longtime Babyface fan, “Whip Appeal” being one of the greatest songs ever recorded in my opinion, and I definitely vividly remember buying the “Never Keeping Secrets” cassingle at Target as a kid. The dude has been pretty low key for the last decade on the solo frontman steez. He released the fairly decent Grown and Sexy in 2005, and has definitely popped up on some song-stealing cameos and production/songwriting credits (never forget the “Comfortable” hook off The Carter III), but nothing has really been up to the insane high bar that he set with Tender Lover and For the Cool in You. Throw all of that talk out the window though, because (in my very humble opinion) Return of the Tender Lover is THE BEST BABYFACE ALBUM EVER RELEASED! Nine absolutely perfect songs – from the arrangements, to the sequencing, to the thoughtfully placed guest spots (El DeBarge and After 7! ARE YOU KIDDING ME???!!), to the backing harmonies, lyrics, and general all around vibe. This album is incredible. I’m talking nothing-but-the-truth, times-have-been-tough-but-we’re-gonna-make-it-through, more-songs-on-the-album-with-the-word-“Love”-in-the-title-than-not, classic R&B perfection. This is the type of album that Luther Vandross would be making if he were still walking this earth today. I am completely floored and in awe of its power, plus it doubles as a really great Christmas album that’s perfect for this time of year. I ended up somehow drinking three cups of coffee last week at lunch with Ryan Olson (I don’t drink coffee) and sent my wife this semi-aggressive/semi-loving/way-over-the-top email, it’s that good.
Alright, I’ll spare you any further fan boy ranting. I randomly selected three songs off the album because otherwise I would have just included all nine below. You will not hear a better record this year, even if you don’t like R&B. Check out these heaters below and grab the whole thing right HERE. It is the best thing you could possibly do for yourself today.
Babyface – “Exceptional”
Babyface – “I Want You” (feat. After 7)
Babyface – “Standing Ovation”
SOOOOO GOOOOOOD. Speaking of Christmas music, Ariana Grande decided to drop this 5-song Christmas and Chill EP out of nowhere last week, and oh man it is INSANE.
If you follow this blog, you know that I thought Ariana’s last album My Everything was one of last year’s best, so I was ready to dismiss this rapid-fire release as a smart interim marketing ploy to keep her name out there as she wraps up her next full-length (a la What A Time To Be Alive), and willing to give her a pass if it was phoned in and garbage. NOT. THE. CASE. These are five all-original Christmas songs that would all stand up great on her next record, with the exception of the lyrics all being about Christmas and whatnot. “True Love” might be the best song she’s ever recorded. The production taps into the same 90’s R&B/modern trap sound that she got close to on some of My Everything, but it feels like the entire production team is gelling way harder now and everyone is figuring out exactly what works and what doesn’t. Her voice is on point, but it would be kind of be impossible not to. The millions of Mariah Carey comparisons are not wrong. I honestly think she has the best voice in current pop music, period. Check out three of my favorites below, but if you only have time for one, definitely skip down to “True Love.” This might be my favorite song of the year. Good lord.
Ariana Grande – “Wit It This Christmas”
Ariana Grande – “December”
Ariana Grande – “True Love”
Alright, enough gushing. I’m just really happy to have found two albums so right up my alley in the same time period, because it means I won’t be able to completely burn out on one of them by playing it 7,000 times in a row, as I tend to do when I find something that I really love. I’ll leave you with a couple Bonus Baby Pics before calling it a day. Here’s Crab Man Cam and Laid Back Lou AKA the JAMMY BOYZ. My hope is to develop them into a future-R&B crooner/production duo similar to inc. or Majid Jordan and get them some placements on the next Drake record. Keep you posted on our progress.
Here’s Penny at the nose and ear doctor after somehow shoving a bead all the way up into her sinuses. Luckily it was able to be dislodged with a few days worth of nasal spray instead of her getting put under in order to remove the bead with forceps. Not cool, P. Not cool. There’s something about the look on her face in this picture though that tells me this might not be the last time we’re in that room.
Here’s Lou in his current ultimate happy place: “washing” dishes. Mainly this just means splashing water over every square inch of the kitchen, but I don’t want to nit-pick too much. Lou taking an early liking to household chores is a definite step in the right direction in my book, and means we may be inching our way closer to my dream of having one of my children fetch a beer from the fridge and deliver it to me on the couch.
And finally, me and the wifepiece and her family made our annual trip to the Bears/Vikings game this past weekend. I’ll never fully get used to walking onto our home turf with four fully-decked out Bears fanatics, but at least the Vikes put a stomping on them this time around. Huge shouts to the fact that a 15-year long bitter rivalry has not torn our relationship or our household apart (YET). Go Vikes!
That’s it for this week! I hope you all have a truly wonderful and relaxing end of the year, and that you’re able to recharge your batteries surrounded by loved ones and calmness and happiness and food. I leave you, as I do every year, with the greatest two Christmas songs ever created in the history of mankind. Luther Vandross 4 Ever and Ever and Ever. Joy to the world. See you next week for big Doomtree Year In Review post!
Luther Vandross – “This Is Christmas”
Luther Vandross – “Mistletoe Jam”