Gambino’s Game Plan…

It’s hard to pinpoint Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino. He’s a writer, an actor, an entertainer, a rapper, and now … it seems a funk master. I’ve been a fan of his music for a few years now. His lyrics are honest, heartfelt, and in some regards, just plain weird but entertaining – ranging from his self proclaimed nerdiness, growing up in middle class life, racism, and relationships. There’s a lot going on in that mind of his. And now he’s back with a new album called, “Awaken, My Love!” This album hands down, threw me. Goodbye to the rhymes for this project, he concentrated on making an old school funk, rock, and r&b album that would make George Clinton and Bootsy Collins proud. I was quite surprised really. But that’s what an artist does – always throws you. You should never expect the same thing. And Donald delivers. From the opening track, “Me and Your Mama,” a standout rock and funk song where he illustrates his singing chops, lines right up with there with the best of them, to “Boogieman,” and “Zombies,” it’s just a roller coaster of fun.. It’s exciting, and I appreciate him taking a complete left turn with his music. As someone who listens to rock music, and is Black, I definitely applaud anyone else who is Black and is in the music field to stretch and break boundaries of what Black artists are used to doing in music.

I’m not going to go on and on like most critics do about albums. Most of you won’t read it anyway. Just trust me when I say this album is worth the time and the listen. It’s 40 plus minutes of pure funky entertainment. And I most add that Donald’s voice as a singer isn’t bad at all. Usually I joke, “all rappers want to act, and all actors want to sing” but in his case, he’s pretty good. The time away from doing music has served him well and he came back with a vengeance. This album is a musical head trip. With every listen I hear something new and that’s how music should be, at least in my opinion – never boring, always intriguing. “Anything less would be uncivilized.” So come. Feel alive with the Gambino and travel inside his mind for a while. It’s worth it.

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Bruno Just Wants to Party.

As much as I dig melancholy and deep lyrics, there are times I just want to listen to fun music – music that keeps my mind preoccupied from the other voices in my head I hear on the daily. Music that stays in my ears like infected earworms that leave me smiling. Congratulations Bruno Mars, you have been selected to uplift my spirits. And you do so magnificently.

The new album, 24K Magic, is a dance extravaganza of entertainment. It’s pretty clear that he was influenced by 80s and 90s music because the whole album is just a throwback to that era. I’m not complaining about it at all. I believe Bruno wants the world to just relax, have fun, dance, and not think about their problems. That’s kind of what he’s been all about anyway, but this third album really drives the idea home. From the title track, to “Chunky” to “Callin’ All My Lovelies” to my particular favorite, “Finesse” he keeps the party moving. My only complaint is that there are only 9 songs. He left me wanting more. My guess? Since the album is a tribute to old school 80s synths, and 90s drumbeats, maybe he also wanted to stay true to how albums were made back in the day 8 or 9 songs, and that was it. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s a short album, but it still packs a punch nonetheless.

What I love about Bruno is that he has tremendously big bravado in such a small stature. And he’s so darn likable. That smile, the way he carries himself, how he pines for the ladies it goes a long way to garner attention. One thing is for sure, he’s like the Tazmanian Devil. Once he leaves, you always know he was around because his voice and spirit stay with you for the rest of the day. He makes it his mission to make sure everyone has a good time because life is just too short not to and I appreciate that in a man. Even his love songs are pretty entertaining and I’m not a fan of love songs. He is a complete charmer and I’m thankful that in a world of music crap we have Bruno to celebrate life. And this is coming from a resident Eeyore. So if you want to have a good time, throw a party, twerk yourself into oblivion, put on 24 K Magic. You won’t be disappointed.

 

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Retro Dance: “Lost Without You” by Hifi Sean (Feat. Paris Grey)

Every so often I get introduced to a song that is a throwback to my time in the 90s clubs. The atmosphere was freeing, the vibe was fantastic, and no one cared about selfies. The beats were everlasting, the bass was on point, and we all sang along like no one cared. Music is what drove the emotion and feeling. This is one of those songs that really make me smile. I look forward to the album TRUCK, that will be released in September. If it’s anything like this song, I know I won’t be disappointed. So sit back, or jump up, turn it up and let yourself go.

 

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Dance Gooey Goodness: DENM’s “Under Pressure”

I don’t know too much about the artist named DENM. I do know two things. I can shake my booty to his single, “Under Pressure,” and the bass line that kicks in at :40 is irresistibly fun and hypnotic. I think the Santa Monica, CA, artist knows what it takes to make you want to lose yourself in the music for the summer. The song reminds of a throwback from the 90s dance scene with its sparse arrangement. It’s beautiful, and not too over the top vocally. It’s a perfect summer jam to listen to whether you’re getting up in the morning or even winding down in the evening with a glass of wine. Trust me folks, this one is a keeper. And like DENM, I feel like I want to dance here forever while listening.

 

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Song of the Day: Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings’ “Midnight Rider”

I’ve always said that real soul music – the kind that makes you feel alive deep down in your boots – seems to be missing in today’s realm of music. There just doesn’t seem to be anything out there with a lot of groove and harmony that can make you stand up and take notice for the most part. I say the most part, because then there Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings. They’ve been around forever and a day. And soul music has been their number one force to garner attention. When it doubt, there will always be Sharon Jones. She’s a true vocalist who leaves her blood, sweat, tears, and life on the stage and on the record for you to swallow up and enjoy. Songs about love, death, fear, hardships, and the like that make soul music incomparable – that’s what Sharon displays. Yes it sounds retro in comparison to today’s pop music. Real live instrumentation from The Dap Kings – horns, live drums, harmonies – you just don’t find that around anymore on your local iheart radio station. If you haven’t heard of this wonderful band, please look them up. They are well worth the time and energy. And until you can catch them live, give this cover of Midnight Rider a listen. It’s a keeper. Just like Sharon.

PS – Yes, this is the version heard in a Lincoln car ad. But come on, it’s still worth a listen. Soul sister Number One indeed.

 

 

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Troye Sivan’s Wild

Hello earbudders,

I know it’s been a long while since I posted anything. Just wanted to tip you off to a song I came across by Troye Sivan called, “Wild.” And no, I don’t mean the version that has been out since his record release. I’m talking about the re-worked one with Alessia Cara, you know, the Wild Things Are singer. She accompanies Troye on this version of “Wild.” I don’t know exactly what is Alessia’s obsession with wild things are, but I really think this is a great pop song for the summer. It’s got a rich melody and people chant singing in the background throughout the song. Although it’s not known if the “people” are just dubs of Alessia’s voice, I don’t really care. You KNOW when there’s chant singing, it’s going to be a good time. Take a listen and enjoy it. I certainly did. If the wild things are where Troye and Alessia are, then sign me up. Should be pretty righteous.

PS. I’m waiting for someone to mash up “Wild” with Tegan and Sara’s “Drove Me Wild.” Pretty much a no brainer.

 

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Podcast #43. Electric Boogie..

Fellow Earbudders,

I’m back with another one right before the end of the year. I don’t know if I’ll make another year ender podcast, but stay tuned for my favorite 30 albums of 2015 post. It’s a doozy.. Until then, enjoy this show of dance, shakin’, and lovin’…

Click it.. click it!!! CLICK ITTTTTT!

Podcast #43

 

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Uma Thurman (feat. Wiz Khalifa) [Remix] – Fall Out Boy
Do What You Wanna Do (MYNC Radio Edit) – Nile Rodgers
Indestructible (feat. DBX) – Armin van Buuren
Temptation – Escort
Keep On (feat. Green Velvet) – Catz ‘N Dogz
In the Wild – Capital Kings
Til The Money Runs Out – !!!
We Are Not Alone (Fei-Fei Remix) – Basement Jaxx
When You See Me – Computer Magic
Pay My Rent – DNCE
We Continue – Dam-Funk
Milky Way – Air Waves
The First Heartbreak – Matthew Ryan
No Liars – Matthew Good
Life Is a Fear – Editors
Life is Long – Laura Stevenson
Philip the Engineer – JR JR
Smoke Around the Bend – Small Black
Happy Song – Bring Me the Horizon

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