Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Boys Noise Gets Experimental During the Holidays

Generally I save all the praises for Baauer when it comes to experimental EDM. Not today, though, as Boys Noise deserves that type of dap for his downright interesting etherial chimes session below. It's not quite in your face, but it's a bit too pulsing to be relaxing, which is why I'm having a hard time placing Freesiri. I think "cool out" music is probably the best I've got as far as when I'd enjoy listening to this most. Whatever the case, this type of music may be just what the doctor ordered for those of you on the struggle bus tomorrow. Stay safe and stop by Mayer Hawthorne's DJ set tonight if you're in the Bay Area...#NYE2014

Boys Noize - Freesiri

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Katniss Everdeen Sings and Also Dances

There's something about revolution inspiring folk songs that really resonates with me. Case in point Jennfier Lawrence's Hanging Tree ballad from the latest Hunger Games movie. It may not have been the most exciting Hunger Games movie to date, but the soundtrack and, more specifically, this song stuck with me.

Maybe it's the emotional undertones of oppression and violence or that it sounds like a song that would be sung on the Underground Railroad. Either way, there's something about it that makes you want to sing it and chant along. To that point, kudos for Suzanne Collins who is responsible for writing the song. I'm not saying the dramatic buildup of symphony and overall solid vocals by Jennifer Lawrence didn't significantly help the track, but the lyrics embodied the core of the conflict in the movie so well. Oh, and don't forget Gazzo for the injection of energy into the original. I found myself conflict as far as whether or not I wanted to post the original since it is such a deviation from what I usually post, but luckily there was a talented DJ willing to delivery just the right amount of EDM sauce to make it more palatable...#HangingTree

Photo Credit: Yahoo

Monday, December 29, 2014

We're Lucky to Have HudMo on Our Advent Calendar

First off, my bad, I totally slept on LuckyMe's Advent Calendar this year. Last year I spent the majority of December raving about anything and everything that was released from one of the UK's finest record labels. After realizing my gaffe, I quickly narrowed in on a no-brainer favorite out of the 25 tracks that were released.

Prior to this post I hadn't heard anything from Four Tet, but what HudMo did to their original version of Parallel Jalebi is deserving of much praise. Below is the original for reference...
While the original maintains it's chill vibe throughout the entire track, HudMo decided to chop it up by adding a bit of his own flair. The hymnal samples are still there, but there must have been something about that kick in the beat that drew HudMo in because he killed it. By adding in some aggressive synths to the original beat, there's a much more energetic vibe to the track that divides it into a distinct beginning, middle and end. Given, it's probably an unfinished product and that was why it was released for free, but damn, HudMo can do no wrong right now as he rapidly ascends to greatness...#LuckyMeAdvent

Four Tet - Parallel Jalebi (Hudson Mohawke Remix)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

"Squeeze Me 'Til I Pop, Squeeze Me 'Til I Drop"

Boy...if you're tired of hearing Pharrell's Happy, get ready for Happy part two in the form of Squeeze Me. Sticking to the animated movie theme, N.E.R.D. took it upon themselves to craft a bubbly and incredibly addicting theme song to The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. It's the type of song that has the potential to get parents and kids singing together. The percussion on the track is drum line worthy, yet there's an underlying calypso barber shop quartet vibe on the hook. I know Squeeze Me will have a highly perishable shelf life on my playlists, but that isn't going to prevent it from reaching the masses and taking over pop culture. Feel free and have it before your kids force feed it to you like an entire pouch of big league chew, all at once...#SqueezeMe

N.E.R.D. - Squeeze Me

Photo Credit: YouTube

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Jack U Come Through With a Killer 7/11 Remix

For those of you who are looking for an ace in the hole track to inject energy into your New Years party, look no further. Skrillex and Diplo decided to jump on the Beyonce 7/11 remix train and put all of the other sub-par mixes to shame. On the remix you can taste both flavors of Jack U with Diplo's bouncy trap vibe and Skrillex's mechanical sounding samples mixing together like your favorite New Years drink.

I'm particularly interested in the remix because I'll be wilding out to it in a few days in Tahoe at Snow Globe when Skrillex (presumably) plays the song live. For now I'll just add this to the list of countless reasons that I'm intrigued as hell at the concept of Jack U and looking forward to a full length release from the two EDM super talents...#JackU

Beyonce - 7/11 (Skrillex & Diplo's Jack Ü Remix)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Videos of the Week December 26th

Simply put, there were way too many 2014 year in review and holiday videos this week that is was impossible to whittle down videos of the week to a top 5. So as a belated Christmas gift, I'm delivering a top 10 this week as a special year end gift. In the post you'll see the past year in search, viral videos, extreme videos and even an Orange is the New Black version of the 12 days of Christmas.

Beyond the year end videos, there's a Coachella recap, a new full length trailer for the upcoming entourage movie and a Dr. Evil cameo on SNL. On a serious note, I appreciated how well the SNL writers pulled off the critique of The Interview vs North Korea situation. The whole controversy brought about a slew of firsts in both hacking and pop culture bleeding into politics, but Dr. Evil made a lot of great points about just how absurd the whole thing was on a lot of fronts. In case you needed an actual music video fix, the Dade County artists (Pitbull & Flo Rida) had your back with new videos for Time of Our Lives and GDFR. Hope everyone had a great holiday season and is looking forward to New Years as much as I am...#2014YearinReview
Google's Year in Search 2014

People Are Awesome 2014 Year in Videos

Coachella 2014 Recap Video

Orange is the New Black Cast Remake the 12 Days of Christmas

Top 25 Viral Videos of 2014

Entourage Trailer Teaser

Fall Out Boy - Immortals (Video)

Dr Evil Makes a Cameo on SNL to Talk About Sony/North Korea

Pitbull feat Ne-Yo - Time of Our Lives (Video)

Flo Rida feat Sage the Gemini - GDFR (Video)

Photo Credit: YouTube

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas Y'all

Like every past Christmas in the past five years, I'll be spending some QT with family. I hope you and your family have a great holiday season wherever that may be.

Merry Christmas!

I'll be back tomorrow with an extended version of VOTW, so keep it locked!

Timeflies is IN LOVE With the Cocoa

Just when you thought we had made it all the way through the holiday season without a CoCo parody, Timeflies swoops in at the 23rd hour to save the day. I rarely post before and after videos in one post, but you have to watch the original video to understand just how on point Timeflies' holiday baking version is in comparison. First, check out O.T. Genasis's new addicting single about his favorite drug of choice that is up to 32 million views...

Yea, I'm still a little unsure of how something so repeatable and top 40 radio sounding could be so wrong for top 40 radio. I'm still incredibly interested to see how the radio version gets censored because much of it has to do with slang, generally non-vulgar terms.

Original version aside, Timeflies nailed the holiday version by capturing the seriousness and imitating the same types of camera angles/video effects. I mean even the melted snowman cookies have a thugged out look on their faces at the 2:32 mark. There's so much yes that is centered around the sarcasm and creativity of the lyrics. I've lauded the duo before regarding their entertaining videos, but they really out-did themselves with this one...#ImInLoveWithTheCocoa

Photo Credit: YouTube

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"Cause Girl You're Perfect, You're Always Worth it"

When it comes to penning ballads chalked full of sexual tension, there's nobody more potent that The Weeknd. As such, he's a no brainer fit for the upcoming 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack. Any guy who has had a significant other read the smut graphic novels documenting Christian Grey's sexcapades knows that the series is a double edged sword. I don't need to get into why because that's abundantly clear to those who understand the previous sentence. The sheer fact that I know the name of the trilogy's protagonist without reading a word of the book should speak volumes about how much it became intertwined in pop culture.

Having now listened to the track a few times, I gotta say, I was shocked by how tame the lyrics were. Earned It is more of an ode to the "apple of your eye" type of track with The Weeknd preaching more appreciation than lust. Maybe it's just me, but there's been a lot of likable R&B of late that is starting to conjure up some excitement for 2015. While I won't be seeing 50 Shades of Grey in theaters, I will be looking forward to seeing a lot more quality R&B on the Soundtrack...#EarnedIt

Monday, December 22, 2014

Jodeci Makes a Comeback Against Domestic Violence

Man, when was the last time you hear a new track from Jodeci? The tastemakers of 1990s R&B have not released a track for over 18 years, which probably dates a portion of the people reading this post. For those who have not heard of Jodeci, you need to catch up here, here, and definitely here.

Classics aside, I can think of no better comeback message than sending a clear message against domestic violence. Maybe the NFL should adopt this as a theme song rather than releasing commercials that come off a bit contrived? Kudos to Jodeci and Bobby Ray for putting together a lyric video for Nobody Wins that is as in your face as it is helpful. It doesn't get more in your face than putting the phone number in a huge font with big bold red lyrics that bring attention to the issue. On a music note, hopefully this sparks a rejuvenation of R&B in 2015. The genre as a whole has lacked star power lately, so it would be nice to have some of the heavy hitting, brand name players come back with vengeance...#NobodyWins

Sunday, December 21, 2014

When It's Cold, We Could All Use Some Bipolar Sunshine

Going a bit off the reservation on today's musical excursion. Feel free to file this under the chill Indietronica heading with Biploar Sunshine chipping in the Indie and Gryffin taking care of the chill electonica. The remix is a calming mix of snaps and smooth guitars that steadily get more upbeat as the track progresses. Having been introduced to both artist through the remix below, I feel like the main takeaway is to be on the lookout for more coming from Gryffin. He's an up and coming name out of NY and if you're wondering what I mean, give a listen to his remix of BANKS' Beggin' For Thread. Plenty of goodness between these two remixes, leading me to believe there's more to come in 2015...#Daydreamer

Bipolar Sunshine - Daydreamer (Gryffin Remix)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

My Theory on How Hip Hop Has Contributed to Trap

Just when you thought Keys'N Krates had trap all figured out, they went and threw us all a Hip Hop curveball. Led by speaker rattling bass and a very simple sample, the instrumental BEATS! On first listen, you’d think this beat was meant for Ludacris or (fill in Atlanta rapper).

After listening to this, I’ve got a theory why trap is now such a growing genre. Hear me out on this one…my thought is that all of us Hip Hop heads that grew up listening to the 808 thunder that Dr Dre brought on every beat needed a new object of our musical affection. With many of the big time Hip Hop producers like Dre, Timbo, Scott Storch, Danja, The Runners no longer continuing to push the creative envelope in Hip Hop, a huge opportunity opened up for other similarly hype genres like EDM to fill the void. I can’t speak for everyone, but a lot of the beats the aforementioned producers cooked up were the reason why I listened. In other words, the instrumentals allowed me to palate the verses that were usually passable at best by even some of the biggest named stars (looking at you 50 cent).

Now along comes this new genre with just as much bass and energy, but we don’t have to digest sub-par verses anymore. Now that I think about it, it’s like having your favorite sandwich without have to ask for no onions. It just comes the way you like it without any added nonsense that could take away from its luster. Call me an outlier if you will, but if you’ve been visiting this neighborhood of the Internet over the past few years, hopefully the explanation above helps you understand the rationale of why I shifted what I post toward more EDM/trap music the past year or two.

Genesis and evolution of trap aside, I love me some Keys'N Krates. I still have yet to be disappointed by any of their releases and they are steadily rising on my list of must see acts…#KeysNKrates

Keys'N Krates - Yes We Faded

Friday, December 19, 2014

Videos of the Week December 19th

Definitely an EDM heavy top five this week with Avicii's The Nights video leading the way. The video is a great anecdote for how music videos can be great tools for increasing excitement about song. The unbridled, live life to the fullest vibe of the song fits like a glove with the extreme sports driven visuals. In comparison, Madeon's new video for You're On is a bit more of a futuristic story. The mix of special effects and subtle branding make for an intriguing story.

For those who need a dose of crazy, you'll enjoy the fun mix of tribal and Hip Hop dancing in Skrillex's new video for Dirty Vibe. If you want some interesting content that will give you a bit more background on Zedd. It's crazy how these behind the scenes documentaries are about the only way we can see just how talented some of these EDM artists are. Last but definitely not least is another Jimmy Fallon/Justin Timberlake skit. This time they are teenage kids at summer camp who just want to sing a little Third Eye Blind. That's all I got y'all catch ya on the flip side after Christmas...#TheNights
Avicii - The Nights (Video)

Madeon feat Kyan - You're On (Video)

Skrillex With Diplo, CL, & G-Dragon – Dirty Vibe (Video)

Zedd Moment of Clarity Documentary

Camp Winnipesaukee w/ Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake

Photo Credit: YouTube

Thursday, December 18, 2014

"I Am One of a Kind Like a White Lion"

Wait...a Maroon 5 and Big Boi collaboration? Huh? Yea, that was my initial reaction too as I struggled to wrap my brain around hearing a Daddy Fat Sax verse on Animals.

Unfortunately, the collaboration didn't quite live up to my monumental expectations. Here I was hoping the beat would be transformed to reflect a southern Hip Hop, bass heavy sound, only to find out that Big Boi's verse was cut and pasted into the original version. When I say cut and pasted, the transition to his verse was more than a little rough around the edges. Yes, Big Boi brought the thunder on his verse, but it didn't mesh well with the beat and seemed out of place. If anything this is a testament to how difficult it can be to mesh two different styles without taking into account how everything sounds as a whole. It's surprising because Big Boi and Adam Levine are crazy talented, but not all good things go together when special attention isn't given to blending two things together...#AnimalsRemix

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Kendrick Lamar Drop New Song on The Colbert Report

Boy, sometimes gifts come in strange packages. A couple years ago if you would have told me that Hip Hop artists would be releasing new tracks on Comedy Central in 2014, I would have questioned what you are smoking. But, that was exactly the case when Kendrick Lamar performed his new yet to be titled track. Normally I'm not one to post live versions of tracks before they get the studio quality stamp, but there's so much live instrumentation on the track that it makes a really good first impression.

Before you fast forward to the new jazzy, storytelling driven track around the four minute mark, you should give the interview a watch. In the interview Kendrick touches on things like rapping vs storytelling and being anointed by Snoop as the king of west coast rap in between a lot of witty banter from Colbert. Since I don't know what the track is called, what Kendrick's new album is going to be called or even the proposed released date, you're just going to have to sit back and enjoy a modern Hip Hop leader continue to show everyone what being "in your prime" looks like...#KendrickLamar

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas is Coming, Time For Some OWSLA Eggnog

Now that OWSLA has firmly cemented themselves as one of the top EDM labels in the business, it's only fitting that they put out the first (of presumably many) Christmas compilations. Prior to listening to the track below, I had not heard of Ghastly or Mija, but talent seems to hang out with each other, so commander Skrillex's co-sign definitely helped. What ensued was a whole lot of wobble and futuristic house vibes. The Lil Jon feature is only a sample, so don't get too excited (or let it prevent you from listening). Where house tends to be chill and funk filled, the brand of house on Crank It is much more of the party starter variety. Overall, it's an interesting track that tore at the corners of what I thought I knew deep house was supposed to sound like...#Eggnog

Ghastly & Mija feat Lil Jon - Crank It

Monday, December 15, 2014

"Tell Me I'm Awake, Paradise Awaits"

As the anticipation for a full length debut album from ZHU continues to build, I continue to wonder exactly what we're going to get. I say that not because of the mystique surrounding ZHU's identity, but because I am genuinely interested in the direction he's is capable of expanding EDM. Clearly, he's got a lot of Hip Hop influence and that was further confirmed by the recently released remix of his own track Paradise Awaits. Check the original below for reference...

Where the original is bubbly and upbeat, led by ZHU's falsetto vocals, the remix takes on a completely different stance. The verse by DC's own Goldlink sets the tone on the noticeably deeper, funk filled Part 2. The song as a whole is a harbinger of great things to come in my eyes. All these 20-30 somethings who grew up with Hip Hop in the 90s need a grown and sexy segue to something more easy listening and funky. When I think of what that means, I envision something like what you hear below. I know one thing is for sure, I will be a happy camper if ZHU is able to put together an entire album of stuff sounding just like this...#ParadiseAwaits

ZHU feat Goldlink - Paradise Awaits (Part 2)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

"Madonna, Donna, Donna, Donna, Donna, Donna"

Love him or hate him, Lupe Fiasco is one of the most intelligent and creative Hip Hop artists in history. There aren't too many artists in the music industry that require you to listen to their songs a few times before being able to fully understand the message they're trying to push across. Madonna is a great example of that as it pays homage to the mothers of the world who fight tooth and nail for us to succeed as we progress through life. Yet, many times we let them down because of how we act or behave. The core of the song invites us all to question why we allow that let down to happen.

The track is a tasteful critique and succeeds in large part because of the soulful humming on the beat concocted by DJ Dahi. For those of you keeping score, that's two notable beats I've posted by Dahi in the past week, so he is fully on my radar. If you're digging this track as much as I am, you can cop it for free via iTunes as a gift for purchasing the pre-sale of Lupe's upcoming album Tetsuo & Youth. It may have taken months and years for a new album to finally come to fruition, but the wait has been well worth it because Lupe is delivering some of the best work of his career...#Madonna

Lupe Fiasco feat Nicki Jean - Madonna (And Other Mothers In The Hood) (prod by DJ Dahi)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

"I Wanna Runaway Cause You and I"

Usually The Chainsmokers are the ones responsible for introducing me to a new up and coming artists. This week, Dillon Francis took a turn by introducing me to Galantis, who had previously been in my blind spot. If you haven't heard the Swedish duo's original version of Runaway, it's catchy as hell...

The high pitched sample has an ear worm effect that sticks with you. Dillon found a way to leverage that sample while also adding in a bit of bounce on his version of the track. Instead of being happy and progressive house-y, it's much more hard hitting and head nod worthy. In general, I appreciate when a track has the ability to be mellow and dance-worthy, but have an alter ego that is much rowdier. This is a great case in point because both versions (and Kaskade's version for that matter) are likeable in their own ways...#Runaway

Galantis - Runaway (U & I) (Dillon Francis Remix)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Videos of the Week December 12th

If I was pressured to pick two adjectives to describe this week's top 5 6 videos, I'd say interesting and unique. Lead by the powerful performance of Bed of Lies Nicki Minaj & Skylar Grey, the week started off on a high point. If there's any possibility of me seeing Skylar Grey in concert, you better believe I will be taking full advantage of that opportunity. On the documentary front, Beyonce released an 11 minute short film to prove to all of us that she's a human just like everyone else. Time will tell whether her attempt at empathy will continue to positively shape her brand.

The two real music videos came from Sam Smith's new single Like I Can and Imagine Dragon's I Bet My Life. Sam is getting close to an entire album of singles now, and the Imagine Dragons are seriously ramping up for their sophomore effort. And in case you need some feel good vibes for the holiday season, feel free to check out the supermarket "This Little Light of Mine" flash mob or the Christmas light choreography to Frozen's Let it Go...#ThisLittleLightofMine
Nicki Minaj feat Skylar Grey - Bed of Lies (Live on SNL)
Imagine Dragons - I Bet My Life (Video) Beyonce's Yours and Mine Short Film
Sam Smith - Like I Can (Video) This Little Light of Mine Supermarket Flash Mob Bonus Video: Frozen Christmas Lights
Photo Credit: YouTube

Thursday, December 11, 2014

"Oooh You've Got a Long Way Home"

What makes a track interesting you ask? In the case of Diplo's new track featuring Edward Droste (of Grizzly Bear) and Rostam Batmanglij (of Vampire Weekend), it's the history of the beat and the unique collaboration that ended up coming to fruition. For a brief history on the beat, rewind a couple weeks back when Ty Dolla $ign's new Diplo and DJ Dahi produced single Stand For found it's way onto the interwebs. Coincidentally enough, the video for the track dropped last week, so below is "ridin' through my city" tour of LA...

So yea, pretty awesome Hip Hop beat, all things considered. But wait...there's more! Maybe the beat was meant to an Indie hit all along? Rarely can a beat be twisted in two different directions and have a favorable result, but boy did they pull it off. Who's got a coin to flip to pick which one I like better? This is why music and more specifically, producers are awesome. They have so much influence over the experience of a track and when they have connections scattered all over the music industry, they can pull off amazing feats like the two songs mentioned in this post. Slow hand clap for dippy do da himself for puppeteering all this awesomeness...#LongWayHome

Diplo feat Edward Droste (of Grizzly Bear) & Rostam Batmanglij (of Vampire Weekend) - Long Way Home

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

If Only We Knew Whether Superheroes Got Along...

Man, it's hard to come up with words that can express the entertainment value of the video below. Like only Cal and Rob can do, they took a great song and picked something thematically appropriate to use a fuel for their most recent rendition of Timeflies Tuesday. This time, they picked up a bunch of superhero action figures and Cal did lyrical summersault's all over the beat.

As if the hype freestyle wasn't enough, there's about a minute of hilariously vulgar superhero conversations between the action figures at the end of the video. Ever wonder what batman thinks of Aquaman? Ever wonder just how much bigger Thor is than Batman? Does Batman have a thing for wonder woman? All of those questions and more are addressed, so don't quit on the video after the beat ends...#TimefliesTuesday

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Sleepless Gets the Tropical House Treatment

Another day, another really listenable Tropical House remix. Before pressing play on the newest addition to my Tropical House playlist, I was skeptical because of how much I liked the original version of Sleepless and due to the fact that it has been so heavily remixed already. Despite my high expectations, I was impressed with what Hotel Garuda & Thero were able to do with the vocals on the original. It broke up the familiarity of the track and they even mixed in a good amount of saxophone as icing on the cake. If you're a fan, feel free and head on over to the TSIS soundcloud page and cop it for $free.50...#TropicalHouse

Cazzette – Sleepless (Hotel Garuda & Thero Remix)

Spotted at TSIS

Monday, December 08, 2014

"Tell Me Which Side You're On"

Having recently acquired a taste for Madeon, I continue to be pleasantly surprised by his new music. I really enjoyed his most recent loud and aggressive single Imperium, but it didn't tell the whole story. Not that I'm claiming his previous single plus his new single You're On gives the full picture, but they are definitely very different tracks.

Where Imperium absolutely got after it with a hard hitting chord progression, his new one takes on a much more funky, feel good vibe. With the help of Kyan on the vocals, there's a head-nod worthy affordance that goes quite well with the sing-along vocals. If I were forced to compare it to another artist, I'd say it the carefree element that the majority of Passion Pit songs have. By my count Madeon is two for two with about nine or ten more tracks that have yet to be released on his new album Adventure...#YoureOn

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Empire of the Sun Lead the Way on Dumb & Dumber To

It's been a quiet week on Hip Hop and EDM front. Between the holiday season and an industry wide fixation on the issue of police violence, there are a lot of distractions away from the usual. So let's take a walk off the beaten path toward some 1980s style synth pop, cool?

From what I've heard, Dumb and Dumber To was downright atrocious, which is a shame because the Farrelly brothers usually don't disappoint. Movie aside, the soundtrack has turned into an interesting listen thanks to Empire of the Sun. The Aussie pop/synth band contributed three of the twelve tracks on the soundtrack. Of the three, Wandering Star stood out as the most easy-listening and fresh. It's definitely super 1980s sounding (similar to their live performance), but like many music released before 1990, I can handle throwback styles in bits and pieces. It's parachute pants and patterned sweaters time y'all, vibe out to this one...#WanderingStar

Empire Of The Sun – Wandering Star

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Sam Smith Wants You to Have a Merry Little Christmas

Having now seen Sam Smith perform live, I can say without a doubt that he's the most talented vocalist I've seen in concert. Maybe it's because his voice doesn't match his appearance, but just listening to his music digitally doesn't do justice to his skills. Case in point, his in-studio performance of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas below.

Living in the city of San Francisco means that you have to travel to winter weather, so it's easy to miss out on holiday spirit. Having a Thanksgiving in the mid-60s was weird enough, so hearing Christmas music is about all I have as far as winter is concerned. Good lookin' out Sam Smith for providing the necessary refresh on a Christmas classic. Here's to hoping the song below means there is an entire Christmas album on the way...#MerryLittleXmas

Friday, December 05, 2014

Videos of the Week December 5th

Man, Jimmy Fallon takes a couple days off to welcome his second child into the world and all the sudden videos of the week shifts toward pop. I'll admit, it was a struggle finding anything funny this week. As a result, there's a whole lot of entertaining in this week's top five, but it's devoid of the normal Hip Hop and EDM influences.

Color me curious, but how entertaining will James Franco and Nicki Minaj be hosting SNL this week? Also, is it me or has Gwen Stefani become relevant again all of the sudden? I'll never forget her No Doubt days, but even now, she's been releasing some great music of late between Spark the Fire and Baby Don't Lie. It was great to hear some more soulful music for Aloe Blacc on Can You Do This? I'm a little biased since I'll be seeing Straight No Chaser in a few weeks, but I found their new claymation video with movie star Kristen Bell an interesting watch. Yes, the gist of the track is corny as hell, but what holiday song isn't a little cheesy? Finally, in order to maintain a little bit of sanity, I included the Electric Forest 2015 trailer. The festival proves that you can match literally any setting with psychedelic drugs EDM music, deem it a festival and everyone will flock to it...#ElectricForest
Nicki Minaj & James Franco SNL Promo

Gwen Stefani - Spark the Fire (Video)

Aloe Blacc - Can You Do This? (Video)

Straight No Chaser feat Kristen Bell - Text Me Merry Christmas (Video)

Electric Forest Trailer 2015

Photo Credit: YouTube

Thursday, December 04, 2014

"One Day When the Glory Comes, It Will Be Ours"

Man, just when I was about to give all the credit to Alicia Keys for penning the most inspirational ballad of the week, here comes John Legend and Common with an extremely powerful new track. The track was created for the upcoming movie Selma, but you can't help but draw parallels to the protest movement surrounding the police violence lately. Common's direct reference to Ferguson around the 1:08 mark built a direct bridge to the recent protests, paving a perfect path for it to become a unifying anthem moving forward.

The build up of emotion lead by the soulful vocals of Legend and powerful delivery from Common are what make this track hard to ignore. The choir background did their part too, delivering just the right amount of soul in backing up Legend. I'm not familiar with Selma, but I do know that if the protest movement had a soundtrack, this would be the first track...#Glory

John Legend & Common - Glory

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Alicia Keys Focuses Us Forward With We Gotta Pray

Sometimes songs are released at the perfect moment. That moment when it seems like the world is fixated on conflict, yet it gives us all a positive glimmer of hope. The glimmer of hope I speak of is Alicia Keys new song We Gotta Pray that attempts to get us all pointed in the right direction among all the negativity surrounding the violence in Ferguson.

The use of powerful adjectives sprinkled among real life images of the struggle in Missouri do an adequate job of capturing the essence of what is going on right now. There are few artists that can match Alicia's inspirational delivery and gentle piano keys. Although I still credit Killer Mike for having the most practical view throughout all of this mess, I'm going to give Alicia the nod for using her power of inspiration to get us all to focus back on what matters...having faith that if we all treat each with respect and focus on love, we can all get through this together...#WeGottaPray

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Baauer Unleashes Unspeakably Awesome Tell Me Remix

When a new EDM track is played live for the first time, I'm usually really hesitant to post it because of quality issues. Sometimes waiting for months to post a track can be agonizing, but I like to err on the conservative side because I'd be pissed as an artist if a low quality leak with the camera bouncing all over the place was the way that my new creation was leaked to the masses.

Tonight I'm going to make an exception to that unwritten rule for a couple reasons. 1) I already posted the original version of the track back in March and 2) What Baauer did to the original version of RL Grime and What So Not's Tell Me should be considered illegal it was so filthy. Whatever you do, don't skip around when listening to the live version below. Even though the first minute and a half sound identical to the original, what follows is a trap masterpiece. I need not say anymore, press play below and witness a music and light display that will amaze...#Baauer

Monday, December 01, 2014

Kygo Drops Tropical House Gem Firestone

Woooooow! If anyone is wondering exactly what this Tropical House movement is all about, I would point them directly toward Kygo's new single Firestone. With the help of Conrad, Kygo put together ballad that falls somewhere between serene and jammin'. Unlike most forms of EDM, bass serves as a supporting element to the overall sound. The piano and soothing synths set the tone, serving as the lead blocker for the harmony that comes when all the melodic elements come together as one.

The funny part about all this is that everyone harps on Kygo for being a one-trick remix pony. It's as if great remixes fall off trees these days because people demand original creations before handing out legit dap these days. Go 'head Kygo, frame this one, put it on the wall and give all the haters one of these...
Do yourself and your music collection a solid by heading on over to iTunes for the real thing...#Firestone

Kygo feat Conrad - Firestone

Sunday, November 30, 2014

DJ Snake Knows You Like AlunaGeorge

In case you were wondering whether DJ Snake would mail it in after his uber successful single Turn Down For What, here he comes with another heat rock. You Know You Like It is much more chill, snappy trap music than many of his previous party favorites. You can really hear the British accents come across on the vocals from AlunaGeorge, which is an added touch. If I were a betting man, I'd expect much more where this came from now that Interscope Records won the services of France's most well-known DJ. This probably won't reach the levels of his previous hit, but it's time to buy low now because if he releases a full length album, he will be much more than the TD4W guy...#YouKnowYouLikeIt

DJ Snake feat Aluna George - You Know You Like It

Saturday, November 29, 2014

"You Better Sink Your Teeth Before I Disappear"

The track below is a great example of why you shouldn't always judge a track on first listen. Full disclosure, I wholeheartedly passed on this track after first listen. Maybe I didn't pay enough attention to the hook at first because it sunk it's teeth in me on round two. The harmony between Dan Smith and the Haim sisters resonated with me and made the interesting collaboration that much more enjoyable. You'll be able to find it and a whole bunch of other fun mixes on Bastille's upcoming Vs (Other People's Heartache, Pt III) mixtape/EP. Tip of the cap to Bastille for being one of the few rock bands forward thinking enough to still release mixtapes...#OtherPeoplesHeartache

Friday, November 28, 2014

Videos of the Week November 28th

Anytime either Beyonce releases a video with her fine self dancing around in her underwear or Skrillex and Diplo release a new video, you know it's going to be a good week. Sure, both happening in one week makes it a great week, but that's also because of a few Jimmy Fallon contributions. My favorite of the week was his holiday style parodies of well known pop tracks from the likes of Nicki Minaj, Sam Smith and DJ Snake. I was impressed by Rashida Jones's ability to rock a mic. In other Fallon news, it was interesting to hear Lorde talk about putting together the Mocking Jay Soundtrack. Last and probably least was a rare Mystikal sighting. Anybody who wondered whether or not he had fallen on the earth can now breathe a sight of relief. He's doing just fine still yelling non-sensically over tracks...#TurduckenForWhat
Beyonce - 7/11 (Video)
Jack U - Take U There (Video)

Jimmy Fallon & Rashida Jones Sing Holiday Parodies of Ariana Grande, Sam Smith, Nicki Minaj

Lorde Talks About Putting Together the Mocking Jay Soundtrack on Fallon

Mark Ronson feat Bruno Mars & Mystikal - Feel Right (Live on SNL)

Photo Credit: YouTube

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A 100 Proof Shot of Energy on Thanksgiving

One of the best things about electronic music is it's pliability. When broken down to it's most elemental form, EDM is mostly digital and digital things generally have a lot of controls. As a result, we as fans get spoiled regularly because we get to hear a lot of great music reimagined and taken different, equally awesome directions.

Case in point Dillon Francis's remix of deadmau5's classic Some Chords. The key when listening to a reimagined track is to keep your expectations in check. You can't assume a new beat or chord progression is going to change something that is already good for the better. Having said that, Dillon absolutely did some work on his own version of the track. It doesn't sound very much like the original version, but it's every bit as rowdy. You'll be able to find the track below and a handful of other newly reimagined deadmau5 songs on his recently released 5 Years of mau5 album. If you need a pick me up after eating all day, it would be advisable to check out the album because it's a 100 proof shot of energy...#5yearsofmau5

deadmau5 - Some Chords (Dillon Francis Remix)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Major Lazer Set the Tone for Mocking Jay Part 1

Much of the last week in music has centered around the interesting collaborations on the new Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 1 Soundtrack. Previously I posted Lorde's Yellow Flicker Beat and The Chemical Brothers' collabo with Miguel on This is Not a Game. Both songs don't compare to the awe inspiring rhythms that Major Lazer was able to put together on All My Love with Ariana Grande.

I'll say this about the track, up until this point I have yet to post any music from Ariana Grande. I'm not a huge fan of hers, but she did well with a lot of help to Diplo, Jillionaire and Walshyfire. The tribal, soca inspired beat was on point like a decimal. The high pitched, uniquely whiny synths made a lasting impression on me. On a soundtrack chalked full of talent, this is the that needs to be circled with a red marker...#AllMyLove

Ariana Grande feat Major Lazer - All My Love

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Perfect Strain of EDM for Futuristic Animation

It feels like you have to have some sort of schtick to stand out these days in the world of electronic music. Skrillex has the whole spaceship thing going on with his live performance, while deadmau5 has always had the big mouse head. A lot of it is branding, but it's understandable why someone would see a need to try and carve their own niche in a genre that is expanding with new artists by the second.

Recently RL Grime decided that his new album was going to be known for killer sci-fi, space age warfare stuff. Every single release from his recently released album Void has been accompanied with some form of crazy futuristic airborne theme. It's hard to imagine any other type of music other than trap being played as the soundtrack to his animated movies, but suffice to say, the rhythms do the visuals justice. It's half head nodding tribal goodness, half loud raucous bass. Not sure about what you think of that mix, but in my eyes, that's a formula for awesome...#Valhalla

Monday, November 24, 2014

"A New Disease in My Town Called Idiotic"

I've sung Sam Smith's praises over and over, yet he continues to impress. On first glance, a collaboration with A$AP Rocky might seem weird, but Dat PMF already found himself on remixes with Lana Del Rey and Lykke Li, so it was not that far of a reach to see him on stage with Sam Smith last night at the American Music Awards. Performance below in case your missed it...

I wouldn't go as far as to say that they brought down the house with the performance, but you can bet that those who didn't know Sam's name when the night started sure do now. I'll say this too, there's a soft, poetic side to A$AP that plays well on ballads. He's got enough edge in between to sound Hip Hop, but the composure and delivery to sound right at home on pop hits like I'm Not the Only One. They make a seemingly odd pair, but kudos to whoever managed to get combine their talents on the remix...#2014AMAs

Sam Smith feat A$AP Rocky - I'm Not the Only One (Remix)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

"Dylon, Rap Like This, You're an Icon"

Well this is a first. I can't say I've ever hyped an up and coming Belgian artist, but that all changes tonight with my introduction to Selah Sue. It seems like the getting is good for female Indie vocalists in 2014. From your Tove Los to your Banks' to your Lykke Lis, there's room for success if you can weave together an interesting mix of harmony and synths.

In addition to the overall climate being favorable, going 3x platinum in France with your debut album is a great way to get some attention. Also, when you collaborate with Donald Glover, you're probably going to get a look by default. Me, I got sucked in by the twangy chords and sultry vocals off top. The synth kicker after the hook and Childish Gambino verse were a delicious creme fraiche-like topping on an already tasty dish. In about a week, you'll be able to cop Together and the entire Alone EP if you like it enough. The main takeaway from me is to be on the look out for much more of Selah's work because it's clear that she's not going to be satisfied with running the EU...#SelahSue

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