Archive for the ‘in the news’ Category

Cooper and Ian AGAIN! If you have been following my blog (and if you haven’t you should), you’ll know that Cooper and Ian shot one music video partially in my bedroom and that these two cousins won SXSW’s best music video.  I think they’re changing the world of music videos. A beautiful metamorphosis, at that. All of their videos make you want to know what is going to happen at the end. They are unpredictable while still cradling the music well. This newest video is by Mr. Little Jeans who is, in fact, a female from Norway.

Dance to it, drive to it, get mad to it, make love to it, cry to it, but whatever you do, watch it.

 

 

 

 

After the recent collaborations on main-stream TV (Grammy’s and SNL) of Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar, one could question…Is Imagine Dragons turning hip-hop? Does the band with Utah roots and Mormon members secretly want to spit rhymes like Kendrick Lamar? Adoring and God-fearing teen fans are also fearing this may be true–pleading on Instagram and Facebook: “Please don’t change!” “Kendrick Lamar ruined your songs” or “My mom wont let me listen to your music if you start cursing.”

imagine dragons and kendrick lamar post grammys

imagine dragons and kendrick lamar post grammys

Here are my two cents. Their live performances are definitely different with Kendrick Lamar. Dan Reynold’s voice is less fluid and “song-like” when Kendrick is about to get on the stage. In youtube videos from 2012 and 2013, his voice sounds more like the recording on the CD, but in recent shows such as the Grammy’s and SNL, his voice lends itself to harsher, more broken patterns emphasizing the rhyme. His mannerisms are also more hip-hop-esque. Flicking his shirt up like “it ain’t no thang,” “point out the bounce” [Jay-Z reference] in his step while he’s singing.

But it’s all good. You’ve got to prepare yourself for when you’re on the stage with Kendrick [just guessing]. And for all the kids out there who are scared Imagine Dragons is going to change…they wont. How many really successful bands change genres amidst the height of their career? But even if they did, is wanting to be like Kendrick Lamar so bad? Some people look at hip-hop and automatically judge it as being all about money, sex, having your way with any girl around, alcohol, big booties, violence, drugs etc. Or at least that’s what the majority of the Grammy voters [aged 50+] probably thought.

But when you listen to Kendrick Lamar, who by the way should’ve won all those Grammy’s, you hear something else–something original, something positive.

1. Swimming Pools: No. He’s not telling you to “Drank”

“now I done grew up round some people livin their life in bottles, granddaddy had the golden flask, backstroke every day in Chicago.” He’s relating to those people who live with alcoholics. His granddaddy is swimming/drowning in alcohol, and that’s not a good thing.

2. The Art of Peer Pressure

Rush a nigga quick then laugh about it later, aye aye aye aye
Really I’m a peacemaker but I’m with the homies right now

And momma used to say
One day, it’s gon’ burn you out

Kendrick describes peer pressure in full, detailed artistry, and how it’s easy to get mixed up in but that there are so many positive things and forces. We are all really Good Kids in a Mad City.

I could go on…but to close, what were Kendrick’s actual verses at the Grammy’s?

Bury me alive, bury me with pride
Bury me with berries, that forbidden fruit and cherry wine
Thank you berry much, but tonight’s my night and I’m Barry Bonds
Swingin’ for the fences, barbaric Kendrick in idle time

Everything in life’s subject to change, change whip, change grind
Change clothes, change opinions, right before I change my mind
I don’t really know yah business, been in there since I was bendin’ Lego blocks
Now you tell the world about me, dry snitch

Tater tots on my shotgun, now I gotta pop one at the stars
Sky’s the limit, I gotta finish as the first rapper on Mars
Mark my word, I’mma make my mark, even when they start their Martial Law
Even when these Martians alienate, my mental state is still at heart

Look in my eyes, tell me I died, tell me I tried, to compromise
Tell me you love me, tell me that I, don’t give a f*** and can barely decide
Wishin’ good luck on my enemies, all of my energy go to the almighty God
I could drown in a bottle of Hennessy, f*** your amenities, I’m gettin’ better with time

A few of my favorite meanings: “dry snitch”–when a person accidentally says something about somebody to the police. He says it regarding the fans or non-fans who are snitching on him and thereby spreading his music around.

“tater-tots”-potatoes were used to silence guns. In this case, making a potato into a childish thing kids like to eat but still saying he’s going to knock down all the other rap-stars in his way.

And then the last stanza says he doesn’t care if you’re a hater. He wishes you luck because he’s going to make it no matter what. Hate is just going to drag you down.

See IMAGINE LAMAR on SNL 

(more…)

….so I have this secret…shhh….and if it got out, people might think I was crazy.

I wasn’t that excited for the new Arrested Development season to come out on Netflix. [insert gasp here] I guess I was a late bloomer as far as tv shows go and never got into it. But whatever, the hype was all over social media, and I went along with the excitement as people told me eagerly about the Arrested Development banana party they were going to or how they planned on watching all of the shows that evening while sipping on juice.

My excitement was for a little something different. I’ve written about Lucy Schwartz before on this blog (feel free to search her name on here). She is one of my more popular Aural Fixations. Her albums remain on my 16gb iPhone while others get rotated off or deleted to make more room for my other app necessities. I don’t tire of her music. To me, everyone else’s excitement of Arrested Development paralleled mine for new songs by Lucy and this is what I did instead of going to a tv show party–I listened on repeat to the two new songs that were featured on Arrested Development (her pop wrote the music for the tv show and was of course a big part of her song). ‘Boomerang,’ one of my favorite songs she has done, was featured in the finale. Listen below and try to not listen to it more than once (or attempt to tap dance for that matter). Just try. And make sure to check out her new album that comes out on August 6th, Timekeeper.

There’s a free download link to the song below the youtube video

Last night it was pouring rain in Los Angeles, which is a unique experience…kind of like watching this video. I can just see some weird scene that is similar to this happening somewhere in LA.

Ian & Cooper…they did it again!

Couldn’t get this song out of my head BECAUSE of this video when I first saw it. Enjoi.

Ever heard of this song? “I Can’t Live Without You.” No? Let’s play the name game! Which one of these people have you not heard of: Skrillex, Swedish House Mafia, Calvin Harris, Al Walser. Wait? Did I hear your mind say Al Walser? I haven’t heard of him either and neither have a lot of people who are “in the know.”
who-is-al-walser_16x9_620x350
Funny thing is Al Walser, who performed, produced and mixed the elusive “I Can’t Live Without You” is up for a Grammy nomination. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about supporting the indie/niche music market, but for an unknown artist to be a GRAMMY nominee is shocking. Something has gone awry. No one has ever been unknown when they’re up for the king of all music awards, and I’ve been an avid Grammy awards watcher since I was old enough to stay up that late. So, I did a little snooping. Why is Al in the running for Best Dance Music Recording? And secondly, would I dance to this song? To address question number one, I browsed the interwebs. MTV writes “Walser credited his nomination to “nourishing” his fellow Grammy voters. Indeed, he worked diligently over the years to make sure all the right people knew who he was. The flipside to Walser’s good fortune, however, is that all eyes are now on him — and the new attention isn’t all good.” You gotta hand it to him. He probably worked harder “nourishing” his voters than Skrillex. According to the Huffington Post, the Grammy board of voters are all over the age of 40. Judging from this vote, they must also all be in need of some extra cash $.

Now that I and other more notable music publications are writing about him, Andrew Spada, VP of Dancing Astronaut says “He’s getting exactly what he wanted: notoriety and his 15 minutes of fame.” His music isn’t worth much, so I’d say this is about the lowest form of a one-hit-wonder.

Let us reflect on Al Walser’s closing statement during an interview: “I’ve been a [Grammy] voter for years. And there were some relationships that were established. Especially me being in Los Angeles. They see me. I perform in Los Angeles, and I let them be a part of the process of the song growing. I’ll shoot an email to a few of the guys and say, ‘Look do you like this? This is how the hook sounds. What do you think?’ … There are thousands and thousands of [Grammy voters]. I’m not connected to all of them, but they can grasp me. They know Al Walser”

do they know Al Walser?

Watch below. I don’t blame you if you stop it before it ends. I guess that answers question number two.

[[If you clicked on this and you’re at work, you might want to wait till you get home.]]

I was sitting in class today and thought of an amazing t-shirt for science dorks. (Looks like I’m becoming not only a music geek, but also a science nerd. Great combo on OKCupid I hear).

envision the shape of a t-shirt around these words:

SEX CELLS

And then maybe some sort of picture of gametes of the haploid persuasion. (insert uproarious laughter)
Ok…this will all make sense once you’ve watched the video below.
But first!

Things you need to know before you watch this:
1) This music video was directed and edited by my friends, Cooper Roberts and Ian Schwartz. Very proud of all their work, so spread this video and their names!
2) This music video’s “bedroom scene” was shot in my very own bedroom (it was a hot summer day at the time with no AC). Those are my pillows. Some of the props are my father’s.
3) This music video is unlike others–it’s a story, it signifies something, it’s peculiar but captured in a very beautiful way. The video’s imagery pulls at the sinews of the music. It’s not fast paced but rather like pulling taffy on a hot day, which is very much in the style of Mike Noyce’s celestial vocals and instrumentation.
4) This music video is anatomically stimulating. I’m studying anatomy right now, so if I go a little crazy with anatomy puns, bear with me.

Boom Bip “All Hands” Feat. Bon Iver’s Mike Noyce

I was drawn to HBO’s new hit series, Girls, when I discovered that most of the actresses in the show were also in Lena Dunham’s other work, Tiny Furniture. I was one of the first few to see that indie film at NYC’s IFC Center.
Often times, music finds me through the shows and movies I watch. After a bit of research, I find out that the song I’m admiring this time is coming from a band out of Brooklyn called The Echo Friendly. Turns out that this band is under the record label that shared an office with me while I was interning at a music PR company in TriBeCa.
As Cantora Records states: “Jake Rabinbach and Shannon Esper are best friends, ex-lovers, who live two blocks away from each other in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and sing together in the Echo Friendly.”

I have a question for these two. Isn’t it hard to still be best friends and ex-lovers AND live two blocks away from each other? I guess it takes time….maybe they kept making the “Same Mistakes” (the title of this song that was featured at the end of an episode of Girls) for a while and then things just worked themselves out. Watch their official music video for the song below:

In the farness of their worrying -the tedious escape of it, how it shuttled you slowly away from real life, into a sort of deep space- they had come, truly, closer to each other, in an echoed, gaping-expanse-between-them way.

-From Sincerity by Tao Lin

I don’t really follow Taylor Swift’s music, but just by chance, I’ve ended up hearing two of her hits. The old hit being “Love Story” and the new hit being “We Are Never Getting Back Together.” Talk about two completely different songs. 

“Love Story” is the typical country pop that I identified with Taylor Swift. The song kind of turned me off to listening to the rest of her music.

With lyrics like:

That you were Romeo, you were throwing pebbles
And my daddy said stay away from Juliet
And I was crying on the staircase
Begging you please don’t go

I’ll be waiting all there’s left to do is run

You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess
It’s a love story baby just say yes

Wondering if you were ever coming around

Romeo save me I’ve been feeling so alone
I keep waiting for you but you never come
Is this in my head? I don’t know what to think

Which then leads to him asking her to marry him.

I identified her as being music for teeny boppers who were still caught up in that romanticized fantasy world of prince and princess. But let’s face it, the real story of Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy. So, I kind of ignored Taylor Swift…actually shunning her music or if I had a friend who liked her, I’d just mimic the lyrics of “Love Song” in an annoying voice.

Now, it seems there is a new Taylor Swift with her newest hit “We Are Never Getting Back Together.” There’s nothing like a bad breakup to inspire better music! I feel this song still hits a younger crowd (like totally), but it reminds me more of the days when I was a teenager and was listening to Avril Lavigne. It’s punky, it’s poppy, it’s a little angry but in the most jovial sense. It’s definitely more empowering for females than “Love Story”, which is probably a step in the right direction for her presence in the music world. Okay. I admit. It’s choppy, rhythmic vocals and guitar are pretty catchy, as is the girly chorus. The light-heartedness of poking fun at how girls say “Like ever” and “I’m like, I’m just, I mean this is exhausting you know” makes the song relatable to more than just females who find Taylor’s message empowering. The overall tone of the song widens that audience, too. 

I’m really gonna miss you picking fights
And me, falling for it screaming that I’m right
And you, will hide away and find your piece of mind with some indie record that’s much cooler than mine

Oooh you called me up again tonight
But Oooh, this time I’m telling you, I’m telling you
We are never ever ever getting back together

 

Props to Taylor Swift. Didn’t think that would ever be coming out of my fingers.

 

 

 

Before I even begin, let me just say that this is not someone hacking into my account writing why music sucks. I know you’re probably wondering (if you have any quick thought capacity while reading): ‘Why would this chick who has a music blog say that music sucks?’ Well, my readers, keep on reading on.

These aren’t my thoughts on why the music of today sucks as many reputable music zines and sites have discussed. This isn’t an in depth analysis of why “they just don’t make ‘em like Bach anymore.” I actually quite like some of the music being produced today, thank you very much. Yes. I can even feel the appeal of much talked about Tyga’s Rack City.

Music sucks because it reminds you of people, places and things. Music is also brilliant and beautiful this way. It just depends how much you can control where the music takes you, so to speak.

Music
a) reminds you of a person, place or thing that is no longer a part of your life because
1) you used to listen to this said music with this person or at this place or
2) this is a brand new song, but the lyrics/emotions remind you how you feel about this person, place or thing

b) reminds you of a time in your life that
1) you feel strange going back to
2) because of this makes you feel the sense of time-lapse ever more strongly

c) can keep dragging you through emotions/pain that
1) could otherwise be avoided while not listening to the music
2) you use as a self-inflicting weapon

d) can feed into your current circumstances and
1) make you wonder why this is happening to more than just me (which could be positive to think about)
2) bring you down…usually due to the lyrics

There is an SNL spoof that is rather hilarious about Adele’s hit song, Someone Like You, that illustrates why music sucks. Adele’s song became a hit because of all of the above. Humans can be pretty masochistic. I think Someone Like You brought out that need to turn pain into pleasure. Why else would it, months later, be heard over and over again on the radio? Another current song that hit the masses in the same way is Gotye’s Somebody That I Used to Love. People all over the world felt the same way about someone that they used to love—making it another depressing hit that makes you “addicted to a certain kind of sadness” (lyrics from the song). One of the most awkward moments is when the guy I was thinking about while this song was playing told me he had been listening to it all weekend and thinking of this other girl while listening to it. Haha. Now, it’s just funny.

Music isn’t all butterflies and rainbows. In actuality, most music sucks. It’s depressing. The song can even be about butterflies and rainbows for all I care, but it can still be depressing put into a context of someone’s mind. For example, I couldn’t listen to Etta James’ At Last, and overall happy song about finding someone you’ve always dreamed of because I listened to that song with an ex boyfriend, and at the time, I thought he was the bees knees. “My heart was wrapped up in clover” and then that all disappeared and I was crying hearing that song for a year. But it’s not the music’s fault. It’s our brain’s faults for bringing us back to that person, time or place. Music sucks because it sucks to be sad.

Note: I’ve been wanting to write a post on this topic for a while now. All beliefs as to who this is about or not about should be abandoned as this is just a general thought process that I have realized for quite some time now. I am not depressed while I write this. I am just writing for the sake of putting my thoughts out there into the world.

INSIDE OUTSIDE LANDS

A week later and I’m still shocked at how quiet it is being home. Hearing music for 3 straight days at San Francisco’s, Outside Lands Music Festival, blew me away. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happily exhausted at the end of the day. Here are some moments that stood out in my very first music festival experience:

Beck, live, sounds pretty much like Beck on CD. Rockin’ out to many classics and fun singing along with everyone in the crowd to songs like “Loser,” “Where it’s At” and “Devil’s Haircut.”

Die Antwoord…just as crazy as their music videos. Silly and fun to watch. Lots of jumping around while my friend who came with me and I chanted over and over again “I think you freaky and I like you a lot.” Their stuff just gets in your head and doesn’t leave.

Would have liked to hear more Andrew Bird, but it was hard jumping around from stage to stage. Maybe a more intimate setting for Andrew Bird would be better.

Neil Young. Very cool that I got to see him, since he’s still kickin’ it in the music world after 40+ years. Disappointed that I didn’t get to hear my 2 favorite songs live–Heart of Gold and Old Man. He played a lot of new stuff. One thing was called something like “Walk Like Giants.” It was reealllly long and the final 5+ minutes of it, all of the musicians would play a loud, reverberating note every 4-8 seconds. People in the crowd were saying “What the f*** is going on here?” because it just didn’t seem to end, but then I realized that they were creating the effect of giant’s footsteps, and it became more interesting. Not sure how many people recognized that in the audience. I’m guessing not that many because a lot of people were upset with what he chose to play.

Alabama Shakes were great. The lead singer lady can really belt it out. The field was PACKED and everyone was groovin’.

Big Boi was a lot of fun. I ended up right in the front middle of the huge crowd by myself. I lost my friend. Despite that, I enjoyed dancing to classic Outkast songs and songs from the last Big Boi album with random people around me and throwin’ down the A-town down hand sign with thousands of others. I guess if I could rep any southern state it would be Atlanta. I love the hip hop that comes out of there. Big Boi is coming out with another album in the winter. I heard some new song that I really loved called Gossip…something? Not sure. Anyway, Andre 3000 where are you? I’ve kept my heart 3 stax!

Sigur Ros was dreamy. Definitely a show to watch while on some sort of drugs…not that I was on these said drugs.

Regina Spektor was all that I had hoped. I would love to see her in a smaller space. I knew all the lyrics and she is really talented. Actually since I left Outside Lands 2 people have told me I look like Regina Spektor. Must be that eastern european #swag. ha

Stevie Wonder was amazing. So much fun. He was just running from one great classic to the next. One magical moment was when all of the audience and himself were singing “Imagine.” Imagine thousands of people all singing this! Intense. I loved how he invited the audience to participate, gave us harmonies to sing and cracked jokes about himself. The people on stage with him really added to the show. During the last 15 minutes of Stevie Wonder (After he sang “Don’t You Worry Bout A Thing”) my friend and I literally sprinted a mile from the front of the stage at Stevie Wonder to the far end of where all the music stages were to catch Skrillex. It was so trippy running in the dark and weaving between thousands of people facing us (and the stage). It reminded me of dodging NYC tourists in the summer….except Golden Gate park was pretty frigid during those few days.

Skrillex looked like an alien party. Tons of colored strobe lights pointed their rays over the audience. Everyone was dancing and we were both glad that we had run all the way to catch the last 15 minutes of it. 

 

To see photos I took of everything from Outside Lands visit my Instagram–screen name is Stellula

outside lands

Outside Lands. Sitting in the polo field.