I decided I’d have a little fun and make a soundtrack for the end of the world. I originally posted this on my Facebook but I decided to make it an official post. So y’all go ahead and “keep on dancing til the world ends,” ya hear me? Good.
Well folks, Lady GaGa’s “Judas” has finally stormed out of the Gates of Hell and it’s wreaking all sorts of mayhem. It’s got everybody buzzed, bothered, hot, and heavy for the Born This Way album to drop on May 23rd. She’s already getting heat for the Biblical references she makes in the song and music video. I find it petty to dismiss something that hasn’t even been officially released (let alone viewed). And it’s amusing that people still find it shockingly offensive. How many years ago did Madonna offend the Church? Ozzy and Marilyn Manson ring a bell either? This isn’t a new concept folks, get over it.
In a nutshell: You can feel however you want about the lyrics or MV’s plot as being blasphemous, but you cannot deny that this was the single everybody expected in “Born This Way.” It’s much more fun. The verses and bridge play out in a Jamaican beat and it throws you into a J-Pop/Rock chorus with “I’m just a holy fool, oh baby, he’s so cruel but I’m still in love with Judas, baby” (x2) and works into “Woah-oh-oh-oh I’m in love with Judah-ah-as” (x2).
Note: If you like what you hear, please support the artist. Go and buy the track when it’s released officially.
You could have guessed it was Halloween arriving at Madison Square Garden by the way everybody was dressed, even if it was February 21st. Costumes ranged from things as simple as diet coke cans curled in hair with glitter bras and panties to full-on “Telephone” prison suits, 10-inch heels and claw nails. These Little Monsters meant business.
Okay, Lady GaGa’s new song “Born This Way” is RIDICULOUSLY 80s! Which means I’m automatically in love with it. No, but really. It’s damn good. And it’s definitely a radio/club boomer. You’ll probably hear it so often you’ll wish you weren’t born at all.
Gregarious Swedish pop artist Robyn definitely was not dancing on her own at Radio City on Saturday, February 5th. In fact, she was dancing with a sold out venue.
I started this blog in Part 1, in case you missed it. Well, this is how I view it: There are so many talented and brilliant people who deserve recognition. In reality, some less talented people will get more media coverage because the industry knows it will be easier to package and sell. Sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have changed the game a bit. Because of these sites people share lesser known treasures with each other. It’s a word-of-mouth form of publicity that reaches a bigger audience. Hopefully that logic satisfies you. If not, suck it because it’s the best I have to offer.
I shall continue the list below, starting with no. 6…
As I weed through my iTunes library I’m beginning to realize just how unfair life really is. I’m not talking about a “search iTunes for sulky music” kind of unfair. I’m talking about the fact that “rising stars” are not simply the product of talent and hard work, but also marketability. It’s not like this is an unknown fact of life, after all, you probably won’t be able to keep track of all the people in your lifetime you think are super talented but overlooked. As a result, I am dedicating this post to the under-publicized and under appreciated in 2010.
We heard plenty from Ke$ha, Rihanna, Drake, Eminem, GaGa and Katy Perry. In fact, if you listened to the radio that’s probably all you heard all year. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. I’m as guilty as anybody liking the popular stuff. I just hope that some of the options below interest you as well as help give some love and spotlight to the artists. (Note: They are in no specific order).
1. Have you heard the new Skrillex, aka Sonny Moore, album Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites? If you have, kudos to you. If you haven’t, you’re sincerely missing out on some really inventive dance/electronic goodness. It takes the genre and twists into it a deliciously filthy and gritty sound. Skrillex proves that vocals do not need to dominate a track- something people who appreciate Daft Punk will understand. At moments this album hearkens to old school 8- and 16-bit games and it does so with some serious force. If you listen to only one track from the album, try “Kill Everybody.” It’s both dirty and sexy. If you want something a little more mainstream by him check out “Weekends!!!” The Zedd remix (another upcoming music star) is spectacular.
2. You may have heard of Lykke Li because of the song “Little Bit” off of Youth Novels (2008).
Drake sort of took the song and did his thing with it in this “remix.” In any case, Lykke Li seems to be preparing herself for another big release. If her EP Get Some is any indication of what she intends to give us, I’m 100% on board.
She’s much more fierce this time around. I expect great things from her. Words to those who already made it through the pop machine glass ceiling (I’m looking at you Florence + the Machine): If you can do anything for experimental and alternative pop/rock, it would be to help draw attention to similar artists. Power and safety in numbers!
3. Dan Black is another artist worth mention. His album UN was released way back in February. I’ll be upfront and say that his voice isn’t the strongest but he hits all the right emotional notes. It’s nice to get an album that doesn’t take itself too seriously. From the honest and bittersweet opener “Symphonies” to the paint-the-town-red “Pump My Pumps,” Dan Black provides a heart-to-heart conversation with his audience. He has gotten recognition from MTV, and he even performed for LOGO’s NewNextNow awards. The video below is for “Symphonies.” How many movie references can you recognize?
4. Owen Pallett is a genius. That is not just a statement. That is truth. He is classically trained in music; he arranges, then rearranges music, and he performs all the parts of his songs live solo (he uses pedals to put each individual part on repeat). Each performance is a treasure. He plays keyboards, violin and sings. He was part of a duo in an effort to re-create some musical motifs from the Final Fantasy games starting in 2005. However, these weren’t just some cover songs, oh no, the tracks really formed two complete re-envisioned conceptual albums. I was lucky enough to see him open for The Dirty Projectors (another shout out for good music) at Terminal 5 in September. The solo work he showcased from Heartland is endearing and lively. He’s sincere, creative and original. This is music that will most likely never hit the mainstream and that is just saddening. “Midnight Directives,” “Red Sun No. 5″ and “Flare Gun” show his versatility in musical composition. Unfortunately, I can’t find a good quality video from the night I saw him but this video from another venue should do him justice:
5. Ryan Star got some attention for his album 11:59 but not nearly enough. He’s an interesting one. I can’t pinpoint what he sounds like. At moments I hear Bon Jovi-esque rock, like with “Start A Fire.” Other times I hear tinges of Duncan Sheik, as in “Right Now.” I think it just shows that he’s got one thing in mind: providing irresistible pop/rock. That’s exactly what he does, too. The contrast between the hard-hitting “Brand New Day” and the subtlety in “Losing Your Memory” should convince you that this guy has real singer-songwriter potential for 2011 and beyond. If anybody’s listening they should know his sound rivals American Idols David Cook and Kris Allen, and he did it all on his own.
I will continue this blog post, numbers 6-10, in Part 2. I hope that some of the stuff here will help you build your music library.
You have to give Robyn credit where credit is due. Not only has she proven to reinvent her image repeatedly to stay on the radar, but she has learned to evolve with a changing music industry. Her most recent endeavor, Body Talk, is a perfect example of why she is capable of remaining fresh. First off, Robyn released the album in four installments. Body Talk, Pt. 1, Body Talk, Pt.2 and Body Talk, Pt. 3 are all EPs. The fourth and final piece is a collection of favorites from those three EPs, simply titled Body Talk.
I’m guessing you’ve figured out by the title of this blog that I’m an avid synth/dance music fan. That being said I want to draw light on an artist I believe has been very underrated. His name is Vincent Frank and he goes by the stage-name of Frankmusik. I came across Complete Me last year and I found the pivotal tracks, “Better Off As 2,” “Confusion Girl (Shame, Shame, Shame)” and “3 Little Words” quite catchy and lighthearted.