New Stuff: “Brookzill”

Dearest earbudders, while we wait for Digable Planets to get on the good foot and make a comeback, member Ladybug Mecca has preoccupied herself with DJ/Producer king Prince Paul, collaborating in a group called Brookzill (“Brooklyn and Brazil”). Combining Afro-Brazilian rhythms, hip hop, jazz, and all around good stuffs, this is a band I am seriously looking forward to listening to when their album drops October 7th. While we wait for this already predicted musical masterpiece, check out their first single, “Saudade Songbook” with Count Bass D. My ears are excited.

 

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Lianne La Havas’ Reign – 9:30 Club, Washington, DC 9.23.15

I’ve said there seems to be a lack of true r&b and soul music in this day and age. But there is one artist that disputes my theory – Lianne La Havas. I had the pleasure of seeing her live at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. She’s a London born talent, with more talent in her little finger than many of the pop stars who call themselves singers today. She put on a perfectly smooth show, making quick and easy transitions from song to song. She’s on tour to promote her new album, “Blood.” She performed songs from that album, as well as her debut album, “Is Your Love Big Enough?” She’s a guitarist, an arranger, a songwriter, and quite the vocalist. She combines soul and a little bit of folk and thew in a LOT of her heart to make for a beautiful show hour plus show. Here is a clip of one of my favorite songs, Au Cinema. I suggest you listen to her two albums, and catch her while you can. You won’t be disappointed. Standouts include, “Unstoppable,” “Au Cinema,” “IYLBE,” “Forget,” and “What You Don’t Do.” Her voice is heaven. Her presence is commanding. It was a beautiful night, full of beautiful music.

 

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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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Last Podcast of the Year. Short Mix. 2014

 

 

2014pusheen.IGHey earbudders,

Just wanted to say thanks for listening to me this year. I appreciate it. I made this very mini mix of some of my favorite songs of this year. Enjoy! See you next year, which is in a few hours! I’ll get the songlist in later. I just wanted to get this up before midnight. Can’t wait to see what next year has in store for music.

 

Stream

Download

 

 

 

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My Favorite Top 40 Songs of 2014.

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And here as promised, are my favorite songs of the year. They were upbeat, and catchy and in some cases, throwaway but still enough to garner my attention for over a minute. It’s all over the map. Some will agree. Some will disagree. I admit, there isn’t a lot of rap on this list. I just don’t listen to as much rap as I used to because the beats sound the same now. It’s really sad. But a few made the list that I really really loved. So, enjoy reading my earbudders.

40. Magic – Coldplay
39. Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon
38. La La La (Feat. Sam Smith) – Naughty Boy
37. Animals – Maroon 5
36. Fury Oh Fury – Nico Vega
35. No Fear – Common
34. Can’t Do Without You -Caribou. Long intro that’s repetitive, BUT once 1:30 kicks in, it’s all good.
33. Digital Witness – St. Vincent
32. Time of Our Lives (Feat. Ne-Yo) – Pitbull
31. Ghost – Ella Henderson
30. Brill Bruisers – New Pornographers
29. Sugah Daddy – D’Angelo
28. Outside – Foo Fighters
27. Black Rage – Lauryn Hill. Yes, she did make a single. Yes. I wish she’d make an album.
26. Röyksopp and Robyn – Do it Again. God I love Robyn. That is all.
25. Transgender Dysphoria Blues – Against Me!
24. Gogon City (Feat. Jennifer Hudson) – Go All Night
23. You and Me – You + Me
22. Get to You – Antigone Rising
21. Bury our Friends – Sleater-Kinney Thank Buddha they’re back. And they’re good.
20. I Wanna Get Better – Bleachers
19. January 28th – J. Cole – This dude is worth listening to. One of the few …
18. Rather Be – Clean Bandit (this band saddens me because while I LOVE this song, the album was such a major DUD)
17. Habits (Stay High) – Tove Lo
16. Right Now – Mary J. Blige
15. Stay with Me – Sam Smith
14. I Really Don’t Care (Feat. Cher Lloyd) – Demi Lovato
13. Bang Bang – Ariana Grande, Jessie J, and Nicki Minaj
12. Shake it Off/Out of the Woods – Taylor Swift – tie. Sadly she won me over. #popgold
11. Boom Clap – Charli XCX
10. Anagram – Young the Giant
9. Chandelier – Sia
8. Turn Down for What? – DJ Snake and Lil Jon
7. Head Underwater – Jenny Lewis. For the 30 something females like myself, a MUST listen.
6. Two Weeks – FKA Twigs. Beautiful Music Video.
5. All About that Bass – Meghan Trainor
4. Fancy (Feat. Charli XCX) – Iggy Izalea
3. Want it All – Tender Games. Seriously. This album was pretty great.
2. Beyonce’ (Feat. Jay-Z) – Drunk N’ Love – You. Just. Couldn’t. Escape. This. Song.

And my #1 FAVORITE SONG OF 2014
Wait for it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPTOWN FUNK (Feat. Bruno Mars) – Mark Ronson

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“Don’t believe me just watch.” Hands down one of the funkiest tracks I’ve ever heard. Of course those two should give The Time and Morris Day a shout out for biting their style, but I loved this from the first time I heard it and it was my go to song to make me smile this year. I can’t wait for Mark’s album.

See you all next year. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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The King of Pop Returns … From Six Feet Under

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I’ve never been a fan of labels releasing music from people after they pass away. To me, it’s a way for them all to cash in and make a quick buck. And chances are, B-sides, and never released material are never released for a reason. They’re never really up to par with what we fans are used to hearing. Tupac Shakur is a prime example. At one point, his company released a new album of his rejected songs at least once a year. It was overflowing, and usually, the tracks were underwhelming. But hey anything for money right? So I was on the fence when I heard Michael Jackson’s label released a new album called “Xscape.” But I will say, this album is good. It’s very good. I enjoyed this album a lot more than his previous album, Michael, which was pretty much a compilation of unfinished tracks salvaged and reworked by people such as Akon. Not a good one. In fact, proceed to go if you ever see that album. This album, Xscape, brings the King of Pop back to original form. I can completely imagine him spinning and sliding on the stage with every “Woooooooo” he sings.

The album is broken into two parts – the first 8 songs are completely new and enhanced with updated beats and vocals and the last 8 are how they songs originally sounded, with the last track being a duet with Justin Timberalake. Oh the magic of technology. These 8 songs were fully produced over the years from 1983 to 2001. He sounds more upbeat, and full of joy for the most part, the way I care to remember him truth be told. They sound as fresh and wonderful as he was from back in the day. The lead single, Love Never Felt So Good, which was co-written by Paul Anka, is a throwback to his Off The Wall days even though it was recorded in 1983. And it also wraps up the album with Justin Timberlake’s vocals, just re-worked. It’s smooth, it’s dance-y, it’s pop gold. Timbaland threw his hand in as producer. Tim stayed true to the original but still put in a bit of disco flare. It works. And I didn’t have to hear that annoying “I’m Timbo I have to be heard on EVERY track I produce.” He let the music do the talking – which is what ALL producers should do – for him. I always thought JT was another MJ wannabe but this track just solidifies my theory. But I digress. One standout, “A Place With No Name,” which partially samples the instrumental to “Horse with No Name” by America includes a powerful sound of drums and percussion. It reminds me of his hit “Leave Me Alone.” “Slave to the Rhythm”, the original version, sounds like another single from the Bad era.

“Loving You” displays a playful Michael who is just over the moon in love. I always enjoyed that version of him. He puts his love on a pedestal no matter what the day is, he wants to stay in and take care of her. Ain’t that sweet? He wants to dance in the heavens and fly and take her away from here. Oh if love was really that grand lol. We’d all be accepting of it. “Do You Know Where Your Children Are” is so heavily synthesized and industrial sounding you could swear Trent Reznor was behind the console. “Blue Gangsta” definitely sounds like something from his “Invisible” time period. The sped up and slow down melody and syncopated rhythms makes me think Rodney Jerkins had something to do with this. Just sayin’.. The title track, Xscape, is a Rodney Jerkins produced track. This is the only original I didn’t care for too much. It just gets to a point where a song sounds like a machine and not a song if that makes sense. The music is so loud it takes away from the vocals. It’s heavy on the percussion and it’s a return to MJ’s complaining about how he can’t be himself, which over the years got a bit annoying to hear. But overall I thoroughly enjoyed this album and MJ fans should as well. It’s done right.

I took time out to write this because MJ has a special place in my heart. Say what you want about the man – yes he was out there let’s face it – but musically, he will forever be a genius. It saddens me greatly after I listened to this album, how much music we will miss out on because of his untimely departure. Xscape is the album we’ve been waiting for and it’s worth the wait.

Thanks Michael. Wherever you may be.

PS- How long til we see a hologram of Michael onstage like we did Tupac? You know it’s coming.

 

 

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Podcast #32: No Voice, But All Killer..

Happy February Earbuddiens..

Here’s a new podcast. My throat was killing me, so I just decided to forego using the mic and, as 80s singer Shannon sang, “Let the Music Play.” Enjoy.

Stream here:

Download at this very link. Just click.

Here’s the list:

Partition – Beyoncé

Afraid – The Neighbourhood

Frontin’ feat. Jay-Z  – Pharrell & The Yessirs

Getaway – Pearl Jam

Billie Jean – The Civil Wars

Lies – CHVRCHES

Repla – Zendaya

Murder – Justin Timberlake

Chocolate – The 1975

Move – Little Mix

Go Let It Out – Oasis

Gold Dust – John Newman

Animal – The Sounds

Cat’s Walk – Maylene and the Sons of Disaster

Where the Music Takes You (featuring Sasha Allen) – Ari Gold

I’m Coming Out – Diana Ross

Candy – Cameo

 

 

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