Sounds similar to: MGMT, Two Door Cinema Club, Phoenix
Hi there, Whuzzerface here.
Hey now, don’t you be rollin’ your eyes at me! Be honest, you loved Foster The People’s “Pumped Up Kicks”. Don’t even act like you’re one of those “I liked it until…” because I bet you STILL do, you just won’t ever admit to it until your collection of deep v-neck shirts is being held captive for ransom of said admission. Truth be told, I actually heard this tune first and loved it, but didn’t understand why it got eclipsed. Granted, today is only a Thursday, but let’s pretend it’s Friday because this is the kind of song that makes Fridays incredible.
Lest you forget, lead man Mark Foster did a heavy collab with A-Trak and Kimbra back in April that was nothing short of awesomeness especially since the video was chock-full of luchadors. Check it out here.
I love brilliant collaborations. I love Outkast. I love Little Dragon. All of these loves together, when I found out about this song, “love” was an understatement for my feelings. Sadly, this song got help up in some legal mumbo jumbo. Big Boi however, in his benevolence, released the song for everyone to have and hold and cherish. What a great Christmas present this is!
Here’s something a little different. Late Night Alumni is a house group from Salt Lake City formed in 2004, and is composed of 4 members; perhaps one of the most well-known is Ryan Raddon, aka big-time DJ and producer Kaskade. Eros is from their first album “Empty Streets” released in 2005. The soft vocals give the song a very ethereal feel, which suits the title Eros. I think the lyrics are interesting. For those who don’t know, Eros was the Greek god of love, especially lust. You might recognize him by his name in Roman mythology: Cupid. He would make people fall in love with either of his two arrows (for two different types of love). Once you understand that, you may be able to determine the meaning of the rest of the lyrics on your own. I think it’s basically talking about a fading love, one that was built on the “idol Eros,” i.e. a superficial love. Now that Eros is gone (the initial attraction), the love is falling apart because they didn’t build it on anything that really matters. Some food for thought. Anyway, enough of talk about lyrics! Listen and enjoy!
Today I present you with a mellow, head-bobbing tune with some echo-y vocals. Jupiter One is an indie-rock band from Brooklyn formed in 2007, and they also toured with Regina Spektor once. This song was released on their second album “Sunshower” released in 2009, and is my favorite from the album. I think the greatest part about this song is the descending bass line (of course accompanied by claps–can’t go wrong with claps). Dat bass line, man. I love it. So you should too. Take a listen!!
Sounds similar to: Ghost Beach, Superhumanoids, AnR
Hi there, Whuzzerface here.
“Smooth dream pop for smooth listening.” Mmmm, sounds like something tasty. And since we just are just getting back in the groove from Thanksgiving, this is a delicious tune that isn’t going to leave you overly full, unlike the 5 helpings of food we all had last week. Let us feast on “Gold Chain”!
Indie-tronica wonders Black Light Dinner Party have been hibernating and laying low while they collect some serious ammunition in the form of epic tunes. Well this power-packed tune is a poppy lament, sorry to break the news, but it’s said with such sweet feeling that it doesn’t feel like a loss. In fact, the singer himself says:
“But now I find
It hard to leave her
She has this power over me
I’ll stay inside my dreams
Where you still love me tight”
Living in a daydream to keep love lost alive. This man is not the first nor the last. My most FAVORITE part of the song happens at 1:09 where the synth and simple guitar lick kick of right before the epic onslaught of heavenly ascending keyboard sequences. It hits me right in the kisser every time and I almost lose my breath from the magnitude of that buildup. I know you’ll be able to appreciate it too. Enjoy! (by the way, how FUN would it be to have a dinner party in black light…)
Formerly known as The Morning Benders, this band literally lives up to their new moniker by continually dishing out superb pop beats and hooks. Their album cover has these words on the front: rock, hip-hop, soul, funk, reggae, blues, techno, new age, punk, disco, folk, country, jazz, house, psych, R&B, POP ETC. I think that is a creative summation of their influences for sure.
“Everything Is Gone” is a prime example too of their musical diversity. While it may seem like a typical dance or “head-bob” tune on the surface, there are breaks at the end of every verse where the singer poses afterthoughts to the audience about the phenomena of “you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone” moments. However, the initial feeling or description that I want to give this song is the following: anthemic bar song that is idyllic for roadtrips, specifically wide open spaces. That’s just the initial description I would give it. “Anthemic” because the keyboard melody gets stuck in your head and there’s an echoey feel to the over sound. “Bar Song” because this somehow reminds me greatly of Semisonics “Closing Time” with the piano and pop beat (maybe a little Ben Folds too). And what better to do while roadtripping through wide open spaces than sing anthemic bar songs!
I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving and you should be especially grateful that this is a FREE DOWNLOAD from their Soundcloud account and add them to your mp3 rotation.
Lana Del Ray, the sultry songstress that seemingly popped 0ut of nowhere and captured many male hearts (especially with her song Video Games, which is the one that got her famous) with her crooning cabaret voice as she exudes 60s sex kitten. Although she could still use some work on her live performances, I actually quite like her songs and her style. The slow, melancholy Blue Jeans is probably one of my favorites of hers, but I also especially like when it’s remixed by RAC, whom we’ve introduced to you before with Hollywood ft. Penguin Prison. RAC always knows what he’s doing. He adds some drums, vibraphone, speeds it up, and…well I’m in a hurry so I don’t have time to keep telling you what’s so good about it, so you should just listen to it anyway because it’s great.
It’s a 90’s flashback song! ‘Das right, if you loved the similar artists above and still dream of Milli Vanilli eye candy posters, you’re gonna just eat this song up. Chris Malinchak has been spinning out retro-rific tunes for a while now and when I heard this originally, I thought “I don’t remember this song from the 90’s”.
Halloween is tomorrow. Your greatest fear? Michael Myers? Nay, something far more terrifying than him. It’s Shia LaBeouf. Yes, that’s right. Shia LaBeouf. Actual cannibal Shia LaBeouf. Don’t believe it? Take a listen to this song and the truth will come out; you will realize how frightening he really is. Whatever you do this Halloween, just be careful to stay away from Shia LaBeouf.
The finale of October’s “spooky” classical music is none other than Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky’s (mo-dest, not maw-dest) diabolical work, Night On Bald Mountain. This is another famous work that has been used and referenced numerous times in pop culture. It was one of the first tone poems from a Russian composer (remember tone poems from Saint-Saëns’ Danse Macabre?). The story that this tone poem tells goes something like this (taken from program notes included in the score):
“Subterranean sounds of unearthly voices. Appearance of the Spirits of Darkness, followed by that of Chernobog. Glorification of Chernobog and celebration of the Black Mass. Witches’ Sabbath. At the height of the orgy, the bell of the little village church is heard from afar. The Spirits of Darkness are dispersed. Daybreak.”
As with Danse Macabre you can definitely hear the story as the music progresses (fyi, chernobog means “black god” in Russian). Any of you who watched Disney’s Fantasia as a child will be familiar with this piece. I believe it’s the last song, the creepy one with the big demon on the mountain. The version in Fantasia is slightly different, however, being an arrangement made by that conductor, Leopold Stokowski. In fact, that’s not the only time this piece has been re-arranged. It’s got quite the convoluted history, so if you care to find out, continue onward.
Mussorgsky originally wrote and titled it St. John’s Night on the Bare Mountain, but his mentor at the time refused to perform it. Mussorgsky then took parts of his tone poem and used them in other subsequent compositions. The original version was never actually published until 1968, 100 years after Mussorgsky finished it in 1897. In fact, the version I present you with here and the one most widely recognized and performed is an arrangement from fellow Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (if I haven’t covered him yet, rest assured I will in the future). This version was composed in 1886, 5 years after Mussorgsky’s death, as Rimsky-Korsakov was going through the late composer’s works to prepare them for publication. Rimsky-Korsakov came across one of the compositions using some of Mussorgsky’s ideas from his original work and turned it into a full orchestral edition. Rimsky-Korsakov didn’t actually use the original tone poem in his re-working of Mussorgsky’s music; he didn’t realize at the time that the original St. John’s Night on the Bare Mountain was in fact already a finished work. This is a condensed version of the history; you can find the complete background here.
I had fun picking out the songs for this month. I think they definitely show that not all classical music is boring, slow, and sounds the same. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! Here’s Stokowski’s version for Fantasia if you’d like to listen and compare: