Posts Tagged ‘Music’

What happens when you like the remix better than the original? Is that a bad thing? Who gets the credit for taking it over the top–to “better than good”? What if the remix ends up getting more air time? Worst case scenario (for the artist): What if people think the remix is the original?

Here are a few remixes I personally think are better than the originals. 

Tove Lo – Habits (Stay High) – Hippie Sabotage Remix

Major Lazer – Original Don – Flosstradamus Remix

Ellie Goulding – Lights – Bassnectar Remix

Radiohead – Talk Show Host – Nellee Hooper Remix

Destiny’s Child – No, No, No Part 2 – Wyclef Jean Remix ft Wyclef Jean

Trends repeat themselves. We all know this. We try to hold on to things that seem classic and may come back with full force in the future but marked up in price x10. (Beanie babies never got there and never will) Some things I question. Like overalls. I was a real overall girl in the 90s. I had corduroy overalls for the winter and denim overalls I wore to death that my mom put star shaped patches in to cover up the holes. I was even in the trend of not fastening one of the straps and letting it flop around. If you wore both straps buttoned, you were unfashionable. How ridiculous!  Now, they are charging hundreds for a pair of overalls and adults are wearing them! Okay. This isn’t a post about overalls. This is a post about music, so how is this all relevant?

The line between creativity and “genius” and “copying” or having been influenced within music is a thin one. It’s hard to be really creative with music. It’s easy to say ‘Oh this sounds like this band or that band.’ If a band sounds similar to another band does that make them unoriginal? Should things we once like be repeated and proliferate?

Popular music these days sounds like ___(you fill in the blank)___.

So when we hear music that doesn’t sound like today’s music we get a little shocked. It’s original for mainstream, but in the scheme of things, its kind of been done before.

Lately I have been listening on repeat to two artists who sound “old.” I’ve also been listening to Fleetwood Mac and the Beatles as per usual, but I still go back and listen to these two songs because although they sound familiar and like they could’ve been written in the 60s, they’re different.

Here’s a brief background on each:

Foxygen:  This is a band that started in 2005 out of Westlake Village, California by two guys–Jonathan Rado and Sam France. The song I’ve been listening to is called “San Francisco” and it comes from their album fittingly titled: We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic. I really like the chorus.

Tame Impala: Kevin Parker from Perth, Australia leads this band, and although I like the whole album Lonerism, the song “Elephant” is probably the most accessible. By the way, fun fact of the day, Impala is a medium sized antelope.

overalls in middle school

overalls in middle school. not repeating that trend.

“Light Side of the Moon” is the third track on Luna Achiary’s, or as I like to call her Miss Moon’s, newest album, More Human Than God. It’s certainly a play on words of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” and later on we get another track title that mimics the English band’s– “Breathe.” But it’s not just the similarities in the words. Luna’s entire album lends itself to being the centerpiece at a vibey party where some hip chick wearing a full length skirt and a second-hand plaid button-up resides. There may or may not be drugs at this party. The girl has just removed a Pink Floyd LP (you choose)…next up, Luna Achiary’s More Human Than God. 

You’ve got to listen to this album from head to toe…no bathroom breaks. Ok, go ahead and go if you drank too much. This album flows; it transitions nicely, yet you never know what you’re going to get in the next 15 seconds. It’s an ocean. There are lulls and gentle waves and roaring tidal waves. The thing has you on the edge really. That’s what I love about Luna’s music. At the tender age of 24, she’s not afraid, and you can tell that through her music. She is experimental. She is the female Pink Floyd. I just looked up a female version of the name Floyd, and it doesn’t exist. Anyway. Pink Luna Achiary. Also, what the heck is she singing about?? She’s got a real nice boyfriend (who, by the way recorded and mixed this album, Johannes Raassina), but she’s talking about all this cray stuff in her lyrics that I’m pretty sure isn’t about him. 

Luna also has a pretty unique music video for her song, “Friends”. The video really captures the message she is singing. If you don’t listen to the lyrics you might not understand it. And thank goodness she’s not following trend and attracting attention with #twerking….but instead this

If you live in LA, make sure you come see her performing More Human than God live at The Joint. Judging from the last live performance of hers, this one is sure to be explosive. If you’re not in LA, support her creativity and get her album (link at the top).

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It’s not often that I like every song on an album, and it’s even a rarer occurrence for me to like the songs after only one listen.

On Aug 21st, Timekeeper, Lucy Schwartz’s latest album, was released into the universe (you can buy it on Aug. 27th) during her spectacular CD release party that truly took everyone back in time. I arrived at No Vacancy in Hollywood expecting a door facing the street, but was instead led to a backdoor entrance with a long line. “Hotel Juniper-No Vacancy.” We were handed masks, told to step inside, 5 at a time, and immediately…time warp–reminiscent of the 20s or some Disneyland theme park ride where the floor drops out from beneath you. From the little hallway I was expecting it to lead into a bigger room, but instead the door opened up to a bedroom of a “prostitute.” The scantily clad lady was talking, but all I could do was look at the surroundings. My group was nervously laughing. All of the sudden, the bed was cut in half, slid open and stairs appeared. Who knew prohibition could be this fun?!

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The venue was outside for Lucy. Great atmosphere with lights strung and her trailer for timekeeper was playing above us on brick walls. Greatest trailer for an album ever! And must be seen here Her band was set up on a southern looking porch and smack dab in the middle was the time machine (seen in the linked video). There was a huge crowd. I heard that some people couldn’t get in because they hit max capacity.  I was in the front row…being the reporter that I am. 🙂

With my drink, the Royal Swizzle, in hand, the music began. I must say that this album is a lot different from the last, “Keep Me”. It’s more versatile. It shows all different styles of her voice, her music and yes…time. At moments, I felt like I was in an underground basement in Brooklyn listening to indie rock, other times I felt like I was in a field of flowers with a bunch of other love children singing along. There were even times where it became “croony”…you know like country, but the good, old kind of country. Timekeeper really embodies many eras, and Lucy’s virtuosity in both song writing and musicianship make each song shine a special light.

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I already have a signed copy. Pre-order Timekeeper through iTunes. More info on her site http://www.lucyschwartzmusic.com/

Run The Jewels= Killer Mike + El-P

Check it out. Hip-Hop that’s more intricately written/performed/produced than most of the top billboard charters, and well worth a listen AND a free download (link below). Big Boi shows up at the end of the track ‘Banana Clipper’–almost as an add on to the song, but still very present and unique in his Daddy Fat Sax way. 

The video for ’36” chain’ is pretty wild, as well. Google it.

 

http://www.foolsgoldrecs.com/runthejewels/

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….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

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What do you get when you cross a dramatically different folky blues vocal, with double bass, electric guitar, flute and drums? You get New York City based group Woodbine Falls. When I was living in NYC, the lead singer, Laura Kivlen, was my boss at the Italian gelato shop and the bass player was a very short-lived fling, so let’s just say I ended up at a few of their live shows playing around the city. I was impressed by the musicianship and virtuosity of the ensemble. These are all trained musicians and you can tell when you hear them; whether it be on their latest self titled EP or you’re at their next live show at Rockwood Music Hall on Groundhogs day 2013 at 4pm. Check out their very first music video “Chase the Blue” posted below. It is a trippy and beautifully bizarre lyric illustration.

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.”
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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.

I’ve had Frank Ocean’s song, “Pink Matter” on repeat and by coincidence, in Anatomy, I have finally discovered the difference between White and Grey Matter. In laymen’s terms, the difference is actually based on the stain of the slide. Because White Matter is myelinated (contains a fatty protein) it does not pick up the specific dye in the stain and appears white while Grey Matter appears grey with the same stain because it does not have myelin.

Some things you just don’t discover in Anatomy.

So you ask what is Pink Matter? You’ll just have to listen to Frank Ocean and Andre 3000’s verses to find that out. I could listen to this song while floating in some body of water (perhaps the middle of an ocean?haha). It’s lazy sounding without being careless. And it definitely sends a message to the ears who will hear it.

I wrote this exactly a year ago today (and just happened to find it in my emails), but I wrote it for someone else to read in attempt to get them out of their own personal storm. Now, I’m finding a year later that I should re-read these words and apply them to my own life. Listen to my own philosophy. I based my writing off the last line of my thought process “The sun is gone but I have light,” which are the lyrics to Nirvana’s song “Dumb.”

This is what I wrote on Nov. 15th, 2011:

Human beings can find beauty in both periods of darkness and lightness. For without periods of darkness, the light would not be as welcoming. In a world full of pure light, we would surely be blinded from the truth. You might have heard “Let’s bring light upon this ‘ which refers to truth. ‘So how can light mask the truth’, you ask?   You, yourself, might say ‘I turn on the lights to find things I’ve lost– not turn them off’. We often think of darkness as the evil, a blanket over all verity. As children, we are scared of it and as adults we are unsure. But there is nothing dubious about the dark. It is what it is. Thrown into darkness without our consent creates panic and chaos within us. After the onset,  we learn to use our other senses–touch, sound, smell, taste; amidst it, we learn secrets, we remember, we forget, we remember again, we ask ‘why?’ ‘why not?’, we sort things in our minds until they’re stacked in neat little packages tied with brown string so we wont misplace them… until our eyes adjust, but at that moment we learn that we no longer need them. We have walked through the darkness just fine without them. Not only that, but we have become ourselves again.  We have gotten past the idiom: “Your eyes are playing tricks on you” because we have learned out of darkness grows our own inner light, and we are smarter than our eyes. When it comes time for the light to mix into the dark just enough to see what is around us, we must not lose that time we felt darkness for in that time we learned that darkness will not disable us. We must recognize when there is too much light. That is what’s blinding. Just look into the sun.

 
The sun is gone but I have light.