Song of the Day: Blood Orange’s “Augustine”

 

For two reasons: I love the drum track behind it, and the carefree dancing. I also will throw in a special honorary mention of seeing Julian Casablancas from The Strokes eating in a diner. I had to do a double take.

Enjoy Earbudders.

 

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Podcast #41… Better Late than Never

Hello fellow earbudders,

I know, it’s long overdue. But here is the latest installment of my podcast. The last few months have been hard on me and I haven’t had a chance really to devote time to create a proper podcast – until now. But I haven’t abandoned my fellow music fanatics. So here is a mix of good things. Your ears will thank you for listening, as do I. As usual, you can click on the picture for a larger version. And here’s the setlist. Enjoy, share, and y’all come back now y’hear? I’ll be back next month with a new show.

Download here:

 

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Intro Song: (Feel Like) I Know Nothin’  – Antigone Rising
Big Dater – Big Data
Bitter – Atmosphere
Centuries – Fall Out Boy
Without You (feat. Room8) – Electric Youth
Wicked Campaign – Modest Mouse
No Apologies (feat. Jussie Smollett, Yazz) – Empire Cast
Screaming At A Wall – Minor Threat
Pale Shelter (Feat. Tegan and Sara) – Matthew Dear
Stirred Up – Matt and Kim
Invincible – Kelly Clarkson
How You Got That Girl – Ex Hex
Darker Than Blood (Feat. Linkin Park) – Steve Aoki
Lifted Up (1985) – Passion Pit
Blame (feat. John Newman) – Calvin Harris
Good Help (Is So Hard to Find) – Death Cab For Cutie
Don’t Wanna Fight – Alabama Shakes
This Ain’t Me – Augustines
Rooftops – Sick Of Sarah
Raging Squall – Brown Bird
Shattered Winds – The Budos Band

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Podcast #38. The No-Namer. I just Want You to Listen.

Hey, kids, rock n’ roll…

Here’s another show for you. New stuff, not so new, but probably new to you. I hope it sounds as good to you as it did to me as I made it. Enjoy.

Download

Stream

Double click for a bigger pic.

 

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Lessons – SOHN
Earth Is Speeding -The Vaselines
SH09 Is Back – Lamb
Simple As This – Jake Bugg
Can’t Take It Back – Lissie
Honey – Royal Teeth
Bad Blood – Taylor Swift
My Blue Supreme – Interpol
Fuck Em Only We Know – Banks
Don’t Wake Me – Robots Don’t Sleep
Girls – Santigold
Talking – September Girls
Lucky G1rl – Shaka Ponk
Hurts Like Heaven – Shearwater
Something’s Missing – Sheppard
Amour t’es lá? – Snarky Puppy (with Magda Giannikou)
Wicked Waters – Benjamin Booker
Everything Turns to Grey – Agent Orange
Minnie The Moocher -Robbie Williams

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Singles Is As Singles Do..

I thought I’d share a few singles with you. I’m a little late on the game with some of them, but man, they’re pretty kick ass for my ears.

 

Little Mix – Wings

I had never heard of Little Mix until two months ago but this song is just pop greatness. The four little ladies can sing. And their harmonies are great. Despite one that looks like Sooki, the voice trumps it lol. And I like the meaning behind the song, to keep on working hard and don’t let the naysayers put you down. And they love their mamas. Can’t hate on a band that loves their mamas! Way to go ladies. I hope they go far. I even like the band name. There is a cosmic slop of backgrounds involved in them all. So yeah, gooey pop wonderfulness.

 

Disclosure – Latch Feat. Sam Smith

My friend Marc got me into this band with another one of their singles. They have an album named Settle that will be dropped soon. But since I have connections, I have it and man is it faaaaaabulousss!! The dance, beat and melody in this song are just excellent. It is my go to song when I want to shake it. Great vocals, works well with the beat. Check them out please. So so amazing. And addictive. Sam Smith sounds a LOT like Sam Sparro but I am not disappointed at all. This vid is..wowsers.

 

CHVRCHES – Lies

I love what I’m hearing from this band. It’s a mix of Gold Fields, Garbage, and Paramore. I think if all three of them had a kid CHVRCHES would be the offspring. It’s synth heavy, drum heavy, and works perfectly with the vocals. I found out  Iain Cooke, who is part of the Unwinding Hours, a band I enjoy, is part of this band. Can’t go wrong. Check them out.

 

Just felt like sharing. Enjoy and pass it on.

 

 

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Blogging is Fundamental: Not Sure the Grammys Are but It Was Fun to Watch.

Ok. This is going to be my take on the Grammys. You ready? I’m just going to get straight to the point. I’m like that.. no fuss, no muss, get down to it, pants off, yada yada yada..

Ooops, not THAT kind of blog *wink*

Now, I’ve read a myriad.. a true myriad (let’s see how many times I can say myriad in one place) of reviews, opinions, tweets, the like of what people thought of the Grammy’s and they all say the same thing essentially. You ready?

Ok.. hold onto your hats..

IT.

SUCKED.

Nicky Minaj yada ayada, Chris Brown, yada yada, Foster the People, WHAT? They’re one hit wonders.. The BEACH BOYS?? Seriously?? (ok, that was my personal view of the BBs I mean those dudes are just way too old and Brian Wilson looks like he is in a permanent fog. And honestly again, I was REALLY at the VERY least looking forward to maaaaybe an appearance by Uncle Jesse aka John Stamos somewheeeere playing bongos. If you young ones don’t know who I’m referring to, google it and do it soon before Google stores your search and sends you links to John Stamos fan sites everywhere.) The Grammys had no one else to add? No tributes to Don Cornelius, or Gil Scott Heron (minus the short blurb from Questlove and Common respectfully)? Ok people. Here is what you need to remember about the Grammys…

They, much like the honey badger, are just craaaazeeee.

See friends, romans, country people, lovers, lusters, and whoever decides to read this.. the Grammys are NOT repeat are NOT a real indication on talent for the most part. I say most, not at all, but most. There are a few standouts though. The same standouts that happen every year. Of course you know I’m about to name them right? I wouldn’t just type standouts and then not even explain what I mean. That’s just plain mean and unlike the subject of Taylor Swift’s song, I am NOT going to be mean.

There are always standouts like Adele (wuvvv her) that should be awarded I reckon for saving the industry from total destruction.. at least for a year. This happens every year. Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys, Lauryn Hill, Bonnie Rait, Amy Winehouse, etc.. all people who were angels for the music industry and were rewarded for their merits. So if someone is nominated numerous times, chances are, they will receive something. And by numerous, I mean at least say 4 times. They will end up being the critical darlings of the night. Last year it was Lady Antebellum. This year, Adele. It happens. It’s well deserved for the most part. I have to say though, I didn’t expect her to sweep all THREE of the big ones – Album of the Year, Record of the Year (wait, aren’t they the same thing?), and Song of the Year. I mean, when they say they really LOOOVED Adele, they weren’t playing. Usually the Grammys throw in a wrench in one of those categories. But this time, the queen ruled. All hail.

The Grammys always love british people too as made evident by Adele. If you are british, they are ALLLL over you like white on rice. If you are nominated, you are pretty much guaranteed a Grammy. Ask Coldplay, Paul McCartney, etc. Being british I think is a key part of the winning Grammy equation. I love that folks can come over from the other side of the pond and completely clean up here with major awards (Oscars, Critics Choice, etc) but we as Americans can’t really make it over there in entertainment, for the most part, which goes to my theory that everyone overseas wants to be American anyway.. but again. That’s for another blog.

There are always those awards given to people where my reaction is “WHO DA BUTT IS THAT?” Last year it was Esperanza whatever her name is because I can’t pronounce it  nor will I try to trouble myself in doing so. This year, it was Bon Iver. Now luckily for me, I know who he is. However, and here is the funny.. he isn’t NEW. To be nominated for Best New Artist, I would THINK the word “New” means that no one has really heard of them before. But for Bonny Boy it seems as though after putting out a previous full length, and an EP, he is still considered “New.” I guess that means the Grammy higher ups had been living under a rock for a few years and think they discovered him. Same thing could be said for Shelby Lynne though. She won some years back as BNA, and she released a sleeeew of country albums before the “I Am” album.

If you watch the Grammys, be prepared for old people. The, no reason to be on the stage other than “to look at their receding hairlines and relive their youth” old people. The Grammys love the supposed grey haired geezers. And last night was NO exception. Bruce, Paul, Stevie, Tony, and ugh, Paul again. All proof that the older folks are going to continue to pretend they are 2o something, and the award show will always give in. It’s an easy ratings grabber and those who continue to live in the past musically can stay in the forefront, while we fans remember them and reminisce way back when, before the cracked voices, gruff huff and puff ranges and all. A win win for all.

Every year there is hate towards this award show. Every year. I don’t know what people really expect. The Grammys try to recognize different people, even more than once but it all boils down to the ones who WILL win beating the ones who SHOULD win. It never fails. So why complain about it? But I look at it as extreme comic relief. Because it always proves the point that more deserving bands, real indie bands, are overlooked for the slick (Bruno Mars), the polished, the acrobatic (in the case of Chris Brown), the outlandish (Nicky Micraycray), and the one hit wonders (Foster the People). It’s not meant for real music 90 percent of the time (with the exception of Adele. Come on.. show the woman some respect).. It’s the ridiculous, the over the top, the head scratchers, the questionable that get these puppies. But you and I.. the true music fanatics, know the real deal on bands. And it will always be our little secret. So relax, and enjoy the ride, and laugh at it.

P.S. – Just one thing. Remember Whitney Houston for the good, not the bad.. I will try to do the same. TRY. She influenced so many..

Blogging is Fundamental: And so is the list of 2011 Top 30 Albums

Well this has been QUITE a rollercoaster of a year for music. Dance music was HUGE, indie acts crossed over, and rap..still sucked. But there were a few gems that slipped through the incredibly thin cracks. All in all, this was a great year for music. My ears for the most part were pleased, and so were my speakers whenever I played something with heavy basslines. Overall I give the year a B+. Now some of you will completely disagree with my choices. That’s fine. Some of you might not have even HEARD of these bands. And that’s what I’m here for I believe. So expand the mind a little will ya? So buckle up and hold on for a random, random list..While I am not a writer by any stretch of the imagination, I follow my tapping feet and my shaking booty. They lead the way. So sit back, relax, and rant and rave or smile at my choices. Don’t worry, you won’t be quizzed on this later.

30. Niki and the Dove – The Drummer

While this is just an EP it packs quite a wallop truth be told. Swedes do it best it seems and the trio provides a loud pulsating sound that grabs onto you and puts you in a trance and throws in a little r&b for gits and shiggles. You don’t know which way to go all you know is you want them to lead the dance way.

Key Tracks – The Drummer, Last Night

 

29. Pack A.D. – Unpersons

This album really blew me away. With a combination of rock and blues, they are definitely the quinticential garage band’s garage band. You can easily hear The White Stripe’s influence, as well as Flat Duo Jets with the growls and and the hollers. What else do you do when the relationship goes down the drain? Sing the pain away and get your growl on. Seek your revenge. Call the person out. Make the rock loud. And they did all of the above. You break up with someone? Put this album on. I guarantee you will feel better.

Key Tracks – Haunt You, Rid of Me, Seasick

 

28. Blood Oranges – Coastal Grooves

I don’t know much about Dev Hynes other than he loves rhythmic melodies and is completely influenced by 80s dance and new wave. It’s got great guitar lines and his voice is strong. It’s a cd that can be played after winding down after clubbing. It can be played in your car, or even at a party. Dev does most of the guitar strumming and a wonderful player he is. The music is clean and fun. And sometimes after the day is done, that’s all we need, something fun.

Key Tracks – Champagne Coast, Instantly Blank (The Goodness), I’m Sorry We Lied

 

27. Luke Bryan – Tailgates and Tanlines

While I’m not a big fan of country, there is usually an artist in the country department that makes the list for me. Luke Bryan, in addition to being easy on the eyes, has concocted a perfect pop country album. There is nothing particularly earth shattering about this album, but what he does he does well, just providing melodic country music that sticks with you and gets the feet tapping.

Key Tracks – Country Girl (Shake it For me), I Don’t Want This Night to End, Harvest Time

 

26. Mint Julip – Save Your Season

This album is difficult to discuss. The music is incredibly haunting. And incredibly mismatched. One minute you want to dance on the table and the next you want to..well.. hug someone followed by a “I love you man.” It’s just a great sounding record. Just listen for yourself.

Key Tracks – Days Go By, Save Your Season, Letting Go

 

25. The Kooks – Junk of the Heart

This is anything but junk. It’s kind of different from their previous albums. It sounds a bit more mainstream, but that’s not a bad thing at all. They’re not reinventing the wheel, they just want to make a good album you can listen to again and again. So far, no complaints here.

Key Tracks – Mr. Nice Guy, Taking Pictures of You, Is It Me

 

24. Foster the People – Torches

Ok, Pumped Up Kicks aside, this is an EXCELLENT record. Absolutely. It’s upbeat. It’s quirky, and gets my toes tapping. I mean, what else do you need? And it’s got piano. They make piano sound cool. Heck yeah!

Key Tracks – I Would Do Anything for You, Don’t Stop, Miss You

 

23. Mister Heavenly – Out of Love

Melodic harmonies, hard rock, and yet kinda sounds like it could be played in the 50s. I even detect a wee bit of the rockabilly. I was thoroughly surprised. The band is made up of members of Modest Mouse, the Shins, Man Man, and Unicorns. I guess with that cosmic slop, I should have known it was going to be good.

Key Tracks – Harm You, Charlyne, Doom Wop

 

22. Penguin Prison – Penguin Prison

Just makes me wanna dance dance dance. For reals. The new wave pays a visit. Synths, done in the right way, can really make an album stellar. And this.. was done in the right way.

Key Tracks – Don’t Fuck with My Money, Something I’m Not, Pinocchio

 

21. The Kills – Blood Pressures

Listening to this band makes me OWN blood pressure go up. It’s very loud, dark, and dirty. Just plain dirty.. with a hint of blues. This duo never disappoints. I just wish it was longer. Just an excellent album. I leave it with my jaw to the floor.

Key Tracks – The whole damn thing.

 

20. Zola Jesus – Conatus

Zola makes the best choir in the world sound miniscule in comparison. Her voice is just overwhelmingly loud. It’s beautiful music. Not music to be heard everyday, but she is definitely definitely quite the treat to listen to. Her music is atmospheric, etheral, and romantic. My dream? To put her in the studio with Florence and the Machine. Can you IMAGINE what will happen?

Key Tracks – Vessel, In Your Nature, Swords

 

19. Rihanna – Talk That Talk

Aaaah yes. RiRi. She has returned. Again, with another set of r&b and dance hits. They hit harder with every album. On this one she definitely explores the club scene a little more than previous efforts as well as the sexual bravado… And her voice fits perfectly with the beats. She’s come a long way from her first album and I look forward to hearing where she takes her music next. “Drunk on Love” has been on repeat on my pod for days.

Key Tracks – Where Have You Been, We Found Love, Drunk on Love, Roc Me Out

 

18. The Chain Gang of 1974 – Wayward Fire

I’m kinda an 80s junkie, even though I remember the 90s more vividly from beginning to end. This album could easily have been played in heavy rotation in the 80s. It’s a great combination of new wave, rock, and guitars that made the 80s what it was. Plus, it’s a fantastic title for a band no? Chain Gang of 1974. I mean, who DOESN’T love this name??

Key Tracks – Devil is a Lady, Heartbreakin’ Scream, Matter of Time

 

17. Childish Gambino – Camp

Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, is a nerd. And he illustrates that in this album. He illustrates how he grew up, fitting in a world that didn’t necessarily accept him because he wasn’t the stereotypical Black person one sees on tv or the media or in music. He loves his parents, he realizes how lucky he is, and he’s funny. I can kinda relate to that;-) It’s funny, it’s refreshing, and I like it. I hope he sticks around for a long time.

Key Tracks – Bonfire, LES, You See Me

 

16. Designer Drugs – Hardcore/Softcore

SO. LOUD. I CAN. BARELY. HEAR. MYSELF. DO. ANYTHING. MUCH. LESS. TYPE!!

Key Tracks – Leather Gang, Crazy for You, Riot

 

15. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy

The Shredding Queen on this one… she is an excellent guitarist. It’s a break up record. Or the picking up the pieces after breaking up with someone. It’s quite quirky. It’s beautiful. It’s perfect. Thank you Annie. I could go on and on about this, but I won’t. It’s good. It’s very very good.

Key Tracks – Cruel, Cheerleader, Champagne Year

 

14. Antigone Rising – 23 Red

The ladies from Long Island, NY, have returned with a very upbeat and incredibly catchy collection of songs of rock and a twang of country. It’s a feel good album that was perfect for the summer whether relaxing at the beach, driving with friends, or doing your best air guitar and air drumming in your living room. The quartet possesses high energy, beautiful melodies, and heartfelt songwriting. It’s a treasure and a must have..

Key Tracks – No Remedy, Everywhere is Home, You Say You Want to Leave (Circles), Gracefully

 

13. Washed Out – Within and Without

The man is Earnest Green. The album? Beautifully textured and layered. It leaves you with a push and pull between summer lounging and dancing.

Key Tracks – Eyes Be Closed, Far Away, Within and Without, Call it Off

 

12. Camo and Crooked – Cross the Line

If you like drum and bass, and needle drops, this one is for you. The end:-) Thank me later.

Key Tracks – Funk You, Make the Call, Portal

 

11. Lisa Bianco – Momentum

The long awaited second cd was worth the wait. The crunchy guitars make you want to jump up and slap yourself, your mom, and the little dog that keeps yapping. She’s loud, bold, and unapologetic. From beginning to the end of this record, you are taken on an emotional ride of hope, love, frustration, and satisfaction. Big thumbs up from me.

Key Tracks – Breakin’, Erase You, Big City Lights, Low

 

10. Lady Gaga – Born this Way

The Ga doesn’t disappoint on her second full length masterpiece. She returns proving (as if there was any real doubt) that she has the chops, and the right production team behind her to carry her voice into the world. I kinda dig it. More power to her.

Key Tracks – Government Hooker, Marry the Night, Heavy Metal Lover

 

9. Wild Flag – Wild Flag

This is not a superteam. It’s a combo of great musicians from Helium, the Minders, and Sleater-Kinney, who happen to be friends. They’re in your face, they’re loud, they are awesome. Period. If you listen to Wild Flag, you are left twitching on the floor wanting more of the wails and crunchy sounds of guitarists Mary Timony and Carrie Brownstein. One word to describe it? Incredible.

Key Tracks – Romance, Glass Tambourine, Electric Band

 

8. The Black Keys – El Camino

The Ohio boys return again for a new album. It mixes garage rock, soul, and a bit more rock edged than Brothers. It’s fast paced and if anyone can make the loud, it’s these two. Dan’s guitar wailing just makes it even MORE worthwhile.

Key Tracks – the whole damn album

 

7. Swedish House Mafia – Until One

Whaaaat? I can’t hear you!! That is what I usually say when I listen to this album because the beats are so loud and addictive it’s hard to concentrate. The whole album is just wonderful from beginning to end. I turn up the volume and twitch again with glee. The synths make this album and the mix is just perfect. All hail the new Kings!

Key Tracks – the whole album, especially In the Air

 

6. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

It’s gorgeous, it’s lush it’s 80s revisited just on a grander dance scale. It’s a great gem to the ears.

Key Tracks – Intro, Midnight City, Claudia Lewis, Year One, One UFO

 

5. Mute Math – Odd Soul

Cheesus Crust I love this album. It’s loud, unapologetic, rocky, melodic.. the adjectives can go on and on. They really upped the ante with this album. And it shows. The production is sleek in some  areas and distorted in others. But yet it completely works. This could easily have been played in the 70s and they could have easily opened for Led Zep in LZ’s heyday The lead singer, Paul Meany, shouts like he found himself some religion and wants to share. It’s just a beautiful work of art to dance to. Get on the good foot, and get this album.

Key Tracks – Aliens, Odd Soul, Equals, Pyrtania

 

4. Betty Wright w. the Roots – Betty Wright: The Movie

Betty returns from a ten year hiatus with a wonderful r&b album with the Roots in tow. The production is completely old school for the most part, and there is nothing wrong with a little old school. Her voice hasn’t skipped a beat. While there are a few guest stars on the cd (Lil Wayne and Joss Stone), Wright is still in control, singing about happiness, heartbreak, and maturity. R&B singers of today should take a page from Betty’s book. They could learn a thing or two.

Key Tracks – Whisper in the Wind, Grapes on a Vine, So Long, So Wrong, In the Middle of the Game

 

3. Florence and the Machine – Ceremonials

Well, Florence and the gang returns. Her vocals are as bold as ever, accompanied by organs and drums. You get the feeling that you are listening to hymnals but you only WISH church hymns were as exciting as Florence makes them sound.  She’s empowering, elegant, and at times completely melancholy and dramatic. But all the while ALWAYS entertaining. And she’s only 24.

Key Tracks – Shake it Out, What the Water Gave Me, Breaking Down, Seven Devils

 

2. Lupe Fiasco – Lasers

For a man who didn’t want this album to be released due to record company interference, this was a stellar set. Lupe writes about triumph over tragedy, fighting for what is yours, problems within inner cities, and the government, while maintaining his own sanity and dealing with his place in life and in music. It is quite a feat to take on, and Lupe does it tremendously well. This was quite the stand out, in a year where rap music was in major yawnapalooza. Thank you Lupe, thank you.

Key Tracks – Words I Never Said, Till I Get There, The Show Goes On, Break the Chain, All Black Everything (a particular gem, where he creates a fantasy of what ifs..)

 

1. TIE. Friendly Fires – Pala; Adele – 21

Before you say it, yeah I have a tie for #1. I love these albums equally. Friendly Fires saved my summer with an upbeat, dancey, r&b influenced collection of songs that got the butt shaking and  the brush in my hand doubled as the best mic in the world to sing along to their music. It is the best pop dance album this year hands down. And Adele, well.. when you can convey heartbreak as powerful and emotional as Adele can, you are most definitely.. winning. Her voice is just stunning, absolutely stunning and tugs at the heart strings like nothing else I’ve heard this year. This was her year, as it should have been. Perfect mix of soul, emotion, and pop. FF and Adele delivered in two different ways, but equally just as effective, to me anyways.

Key TracksFriendly Fires’ Pala: Show Me Lights, Hurting, Pala, Live Those Days Tonight, Blue Cassette

Adele’s 21: Rollin’ in the Deep, Someone Like You, Rumour Has It, Set Fire to the Rain, Take it All, I’ll be Wating

 

Aaand a little round of applause for the ones who JUST missed my list but deserve a serious shout out:

Fucked Up – David Comes to Life

Feist – Metals

DJ Shadow – The Less  You Know, the Better

The Roots – Undun

Yuck. Yes there is a band called Yuck. And they’re not yuck. not in the least.

Kelly Clarkson – Stronger. Gotta love the pop. The sweet sweet pop. #TeamClarkson

Whew. That was a LOT of music to narrow down to 30 choices. My ears hurt. My brain hurts. But if next year is anything like this year, then I’m definitely looking forward to it. I’m going to have some wine and listen to these albums again.

Rock on everyone. Happy new year.

 

Loving Puzzle Pieces falling into place.

So there is this band named Saint Motel. I don’t know whether I am to go to church in a motel and have confession or what, but I am lovin’ this song, Puzzle Pieces. Go to their website http://www.saintmotel.com/ and download it. For. Free.

 

 

I know what  you’re thinking.. that piano intro sounds a LOT like the ipod commercial featuring the song called “Never Stop” by Chilly Gonzales, just twirked a bit. But still good stuff..

 

 

So go check both of them out.

 

Holla back..