Category Archives: music.

Delving into electronic music…

Daft Punk Alive 2007

Now, this article is really for the uninitiated.  If you’re already a big EDM fan, you may know a lot of what I’m going to say, and you may not agree with what I say either, which is entirely subjective.  Personally, I can take or leave electronic music, but every great while some songs are produced that are just amazing.   Now, there are a lot of big acts that aren’t gonna be mentioned here, so if you’re expecting to see David Guetta, Tiesto, Avicii or Deadmau5, then you may be disappointed, but if you want to hear more artists outside of the basic four being played everywhere these days, then you’re in luck.  So without wasting any more of your time, here are the tunes:

1. Daft Punk- Robot Rock 

The kings of house music, this French duo has been at it for over a decade and a half and continue to be one of the freshest sounds in the house scene.

2. RJD2- 1976

RJD2’s fresh blend of hip hop with instrumentals makes his sound unique and noticeable.  He’s even gone on to have a song used as the theme for AMC’s “Mad Men.”

3. Miami Horror- Summerfest ’86

Australian upstarts Miami Horror have a fresh sound similar to Chromeo or Cut Copy, but this song stands on it’s own.

4. Wolfgang Gartner- Illmerica

Grammy Award nominated Wolfgang Gartner is at the forefront of the American house music scene and this is just one reason why.

5. Cut Copy- Going Nowhere

Another band hailing from Australia, Cut Copy has been playing around the world for the past decade and their second album “In Ghost Colours” was number 1 on the ARIA music charts.

That’s all for now, tune in next time when we’ll sample some Aphex Twin, Booka Shade, Calvin Harris, Chromeo and Younger Brother.

Advertisements

The Stones at 50:

Now, there are many adamant music fans who think you can’t be both a fan of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, but quite frankly, that’s a load of horseshit.  Then and now, these were two entirely different bands without much in common except from being early British Invasion bands.  That’s like not being able to like the Zombies cuz you like the Kinks; it’s stupid.  The Beatles did something no other band before them did, but at the same time, the Stones took it further and did something no other band had done and continued to do it for 50 friggen years.  The Rolling Stones are what every rock and roll band since their inception have tried to emulate.  The sex drugs and rock and roll lifestyle, the swagger of Mick Jagger; I guarantee you there wasn’t a heavy metal band in the 80’s somewhat influenced by the Rolling Stones.

Here’s another thing, at the height of their popularity in the late 60’s, the highlight of  the Monterey Pop Festival was the fact the Stones’ guitarist Brian Jones was there..  He didn’t even play a single note, but that’s the most important thing to remember from MPF.  He may have introduced Jimi Hendrix, but even Jimi’s set, the Who, The Mama’s and The Papa’s last show, and one of the last performances from Otis Redding all paled in comparison to Brian Jones’ being there.  Now, without continuing my ranting, let’s get down to the music:

Monkey Man- Let it Bleed

Dead Flowers- Sticky Fingers

Emotional Rescue- Emotional Rescue

2000 Light Years from Home- Their Satanic Majesties Request

Salt of the Earth- Rock and Roll Circus

sorry, I couldn’t find the live video from RnR Circus on youtube.

I know everyone is thinking where’s Paint it Black and Gimme Shelter and all the hits you hear on the radio everyday, but this is my blog, and these are the songs that I relate to the most as a Stones fan.  I could go on and on, but then that’s just beating a dead horse.  so for reading this, I’ll leave you with one last favorite track of mine:

In Another Land- Their Satanic Majesties Request

The Best of John Lennon:

John

Now, I was born a couple of years after he was shot, but that doesn’t change the fact that his music has hit me deeper than pretty much anyone in the history of music.  Both during the Beatles tenure and afterwards.  My parents favorite Beatle was George Harrison and I get that.  I watched his HBO documentary about four times now, and love everything he has to offer and he had such a beautiful mind.  But when it comes to the Fab Four, nobody speaks to me quite like John did.  So in today’s installment, I’m gonna arbitrarily rattle off a random number of my favorite post-Beatles John Lennon songs:

1. Watching the Wheels

This one really goes without saying and should be on anyone’s top 5 John Lennon song list.  He just captured lightning in a bottle with this song and it speaks to any person of any generation on some wavelength.

2. Jealous Guy

An amazing song where he lets you inside his soul like no one else and boldly takes responsibility in the plight of love like not many men are willing to do.

3. Working Class Hero

This song is deep, way deep, and is more relevant now more than ever.  He just breaks down the expectations of societal life and drops the hammer on it like it’s his job.

4. Woman

I can’t even listen to this song without shedding a tear or many tears for that matter.  So Yoko may have broken up the Beatles, she did give us this, so we can at least respect her for that.

5. Look at Me

John waxing philosophical as only he can.  This is one of his simpler songs, but the message of wondering who you are and what your role is in the world hits me right at home.

There you have it for this week.  Clearly I left off some heavy hitters (Instant Karma, etc.), but to each their own.  If you have your own personal list of top Lennon songs feel free to comment with them below.  Until next time….

A few bands worth listening to(pt. 3):

Gogol Bordello

1. Gogol Bordello – These gypsy punk rockers fuse together Eastern European music with a modern punk twist.  They’re known for their exciting live performances and tour relentlessly.  Led by lead singer Eugene Hutz, his Ukrainian quirkiness helps to separate the band from most music out there today.

2. Miami Horror – Contrary to their name, Miami Horror hails from Australia.  They have an electronic sound that’s classified as disco-house and can be compared to bands like Chromeo, but better.

3. Yeasayer – I don’t think I’ve done one of these without at least one Brooklyn based band.  Yeasayer is a mix of middle-eastern sounds with electronic synth along with poppy soulful harmonies.

That’s it for this installment of a few bands worth listening to.  I hope you’ve come across something that piques your interest and feel free to recommend any bands to me for future installments.

The 90s pt 1: Brit Pop

The Brothers Gallagher

The 90s brought us many genres throughout its decade.  From Seattle Grunge to Newmetal like Korn and Limp Bizkit, and obviously, some came across better than others.  One that held up throughout the test of time was Britpop from the mid-ninties.  Bands like Suede, Pulp and Blur held up their end of the spectrum, but it was clearly led by the once bigger than the Beatles, Oasis.

Pulp- Razzmatazz

Blur- Girls & Boys

Now Pulp and Blur are about as polar opposite as can be.  Pulp started out in the early 80s and eventually received fame worldwide with their song ‘Common People’, but they continued on into the 90s to mixed reactions.  Eventually overdrive and cocaine got the best of them and they had to hang it up in the late 90s.

Blur on the other hand had very little fame, but a decent amount of good songs, until 1997 when they came out with ‘Song 2’.  That may have been their shining moment, but it really is the song that is used to pigeonhole them as a one hit wonder who never did anything exceptional outside of that.

Then we have the Cain and Abel of the Rock and Roll World.  The Gallagher Brothers of Oasis, who could make amazing albums and put on great shows so long as they could be in the same room at the same time together, which clearly was the hardest part of it all.

After this came albums less and less creative as their original, as well as the advent of singers like Robbie Williams and the Spice Girls, and just like that, Britpop of the mid 90s was swept under the carpet never to be seen of again.

In praise of Air:

I was originally planning on doing another 3 bands worth listening to post with Air being the focal point, then I came to the conclusion that this band is worthy of their own post that isn’t watered down by anyone else.  They have released 9 albums over the past 14 years and are featured on many soundtracks as well.  As far as overall appeal and influence as well as talent, you’d be hard pressed to find a band that rivals their output over the past 15 years.

AIR

Consisting of the duo of Nicolas Godin and Jean Benoit-Dunckel, Air have been making music together since 1995.  Their music is ambient electronica with heavy use of synthesizers, organs, drum and bass, as well as the occasional vocoder.  What results from that for the listener is probably the most relaxing chilled out musical soundscape, great for background noise, or focusing heavy on, great for listening in the car, or playing while you’re lying on top of someone.  Its very multifaceted in that sense.

Their music is just so accessible to the ears, its hard not to groove along to it.  Underneath it all, there’s something somewhat punk rock about it as well.  Nobody really does what they do, surely not as well as they do.  Their music has been featured on many feature film soundtracks including Go, Exit Through the Giftshop, and of course their full-length soundtrack to Sofia Coppola’s Virgin Suicides.  Its just that perfect kind of music where it can be background noise, but at the same time has enough tension and release to add to the scenes in which they are played on.

Let’s not pigeonhole them strictly as a soundtrack band though, although their music has a certain ambience to it, its often complex and diverse and it’s easily noticeable on their album.   Premiers Symptomes and Moon Safari are both strong albums, especially considering its their first two albums.  Maybe not all their albums are as strong as those two originals, but they still pump out solid albums regularly including 2004’s Talkie Walkie and 2009’s Love 2.

Seriously, go out and buy Moon Safari, go home get your woman all in the mood and fuck to this music.  I guarantee she’ll have came twice by the end of Kelly Watch the Stars.  Guaranteed to get at least one out during La Femme D’Argent alone and that’s the opening track.  By the time Ce Matin La ends, your mattress should be covered in female ejaculate, the amounts of which you’ve never possibly imagined before.

All kidding aside, their music has a slight euphoric feel to it, akin to taking half an E pill before going to work in the morning.  Seeing them live only confirmed that to me.  Their live shows are pristine sounding and you can hear a pin drop in the crowd during their songs.  Just thousands of people sitting in awe trying to keep their jaws off the ground for a solid two hours.  They are Air, and they are the very best at what they do.  I don’t know why the French are so amazing at making music that speaks to your inside feelings of joy and love, but they just do.  It’s something I’ve come to expect and appreciate.

The Best diss tracks of alltime:

Eazy does it.

In reverence of Tupac’s birthday, we’re gonna break it down with the best diss tracks of all time.  Tupac personally took the idea of the diss track to a new level when he came out of the hospital from getting shot and immediately laid down ‘Hit ’em Up’ before going ahead and getting shot a second time around, so in praise of your brashness, we will disect the best of the best diss tracks(in no particular order):

#1. Masta Ace- Acknowledge

This is hip hop rhyming at its purest form and Masta Ace lays it all on the line to set the record straight.

#2. Tupac- Hit ’em Up

Just the balls it takes to write this song after getting shot the first time is worthy enough to put this on the top of any list.

#3. Eazy E- Real Muthafuckin G’s

Dre Day was probably the most popular song on the most popular rap album of all time, but that didn’t stop Eazy from following it right up to clear up who the best rapper from N.W.A. always was.