Thursday, March 31, 2011

9 Great Songs from the past 9 Months

I'm back. Sorry for the delay, I've been busy being lazy. Fortunately, this means that I've got some great music to show you, and since I know some of the long posts are hard to get through, I'll whittle it down to the bee's knees of jams. Oh, I've also decided to start rating the music on a scale of 5 stars. I thought it would help everyone choose what to listen to if there are a ton of songs. I also want to say what's up to all the people from South Korea, Russia, Denmark, and the Netherlands who are visiting, it's pretty awesome to see people from around the world checking this out. It would be great if you sent me some songs from other parts of the world, we don't get enough over here. I heard Vietnam had snow for the first time in history, crazy, I guess the world really is ending.

Oh also, on a lighter note, I thought this cartoon was hilarious, I stumbled upon it so I dunno where it's from really.

And now on to the music...

Geographer - Kites 4.5/5

A friend named Rob gave this song to me a few weeks ago and I think I've had it in every playlist I've listened to since then. Expect big things from this San Fran based band in the future.

TV Girl - If You Want It 4.9/5

Might be my favorite song of the year so far, though it would be hard to say for sure. The only reason it's not 5/5 is cause I'm not sure if this song will stand the test of time yet. Actually, I am pretty sure, but I'm gonna wait and see. Either way it's great and I'm gonna be psyched when TV Girl plays in DC. I just hope I don't overplay it and ruin it before they do.

Tyler The Creator (from Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All) - Yonkers 4.75/5

If you like fat beats and vulgar lyrics you will love this group. This song and music video are my vote right now for rap song/video of the year. Really shows what you can do with a camera and a few effects, redic. Incredibly simple and disturbing/strange. It's great. It's not pop. It's rap. Raw filthy rap. They killed it on Jimmy Fallon, check that video out if you want on youtube.

Cassius - I <3 U So 4/5

Just listen to it, it's good. I don't know much about the band. You can read about them in the youtube page if you want, I don't feel like doing that right now. Pretty cool video though.

Foster The People - Helena Beat 4/5

Another band that I feel is going to become big real soon. Their music is just too awesome. They've got a bunch of other good songs too. You should look them up.

King Charles - Love Lust 4/5

Call me sentimental, but I think this song is incredible. I just found it today, and it was so good it convinced me to make this post and share with you all. That's how good it is. It's got one of the best beats I've heard in a while, not as in like dubstep beat, but rather catchy melodic beat. Reminds me a bit of Ed Sharpe, except I think this song is better than anything from their first album. I haven't listened to Alexander yet, but I guess they count as another group.

Amadou & Mariam - Sabali 4/5

A musical duo from Mali, at least I'm pretty sure because they're speaking Bambara. Sabali means patience if you were wondering. This is one of those great foreign songs you find every year. I was actually thinking of doing a foreign songs post later on. If I did, this would be on it.

Cities Aviv - Float On 4/5

This song uses the beat from the Modest Mouse song of the same name, and since that song is one of the best of the past decade, it pretty much can't be a bad song. Cities Aviv verses are solid too.

Kanye West - Young Folks (Another song stolen by Kanye from Peter Bjorn and John) 3.5/5

I don't like Kanye, I can't really say that cause I haven't met him, but I wouldn't ever want to. This song is good, mostly because Kanye rides on the back of the great PB and J beat. But it's worth listening to.

I just realized that this post is really long, but since I can't choose one of these songs to take off it is gonna stay this way. You're welcome.

PS. Tonight caps off the end of 'The Birthday Week Bonanza', Happy Bday Tyler, Nick, And Mike.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Oldies But Goodies

So think about this. When we were born, and by we I mean us children of the 80s, oldies were from the 50s and 60s, so 20-30 years old. Which means that for kids born today, oldies are anything from 1991 to 1981. That thought kinda scared me. I'm also worried about how nobody these days listens to this elusive and mercurial category, 'oldies'.

When I was growing up my parents wouldn't let us listen to anything explicit, so pretty much no rap in the car (other than Will Smith of course), and lots and lots of oldies/doo-wop. Though I got mad when they wouldn't let me buy parental advisory albums, I'm kinda glad now that I grew up on oldies. There are literally zero oldies stations left, and by oldies I mean pre 1970s. I guess these days 1970s are oldies now though. I don't know, I still wonder if oldies will mean the 40s-60s era, or if oldies means anything older than 30 years. Right now I'd say oldies is anything older than 1980, but that thought could change.
Either way, I've been listening to some old jams lately, and I thought I'd share some of the one's you might have forgotten.

1. The Delfonics - Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time

2. The Lovin' Spoonful - What A Day For A Daydream

3. Marvin Gaye - How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You (Acapella)

Amazing version, I like it more than the original, though it kinda is the original without instruments.

4. Dion & The Belmonts - Runaround Sue

5. The Lovin' Spoonful - Do You Believe In Magic

6. The Five Stairsteps - Ooh Child

7. Sam Cooke - Bring It On Home To Me (Live At The Harlem Square Club '63)

Sam Cooke is my favorite oldies singer. Better than Otis Redding, better than Marvin Gaye, better than Wilson Pickett, better than Al Green. He lived nothing short of a ridiculous life, and I don't mean that in a good way. One of the first black crossover artists, he gained popularity from the religious folk due to his religious background (father was a minister) and he used to sing gospel. I strongly recommend you listen to the entire concert. The live version of "Bring It On Home To Me" is my third favorite song of all time (only behind Little Wing and Thunder Road). Though he doesn't have as extensive a repertoire as Van Morrison, Sam Cooke could very well be the greatest vocalist ever. The concert is also up there for greatest of all time, and if I had to go to a concert sober than it would probably be number one. The best parts are when he goes off on tangents, throwing in a few extra words and lines. Even though he's speaking, it sounds better than any pop singer today. Interestingly, throughout the concert he circles around the theme of love and not 'hittin on your girl'. He seems like the perfect man, except for the fact that he was killed while wearing nothing but socks in the hallway of a hotel by a manager with a shotgun because he was beating up his girlfriend. True Story. But don't let that take away from the song, it's as raw as live music gets, and whatever happened in this club on this night in Harlem, 1963, is a once in a forever thing.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Filthy Friday: Skrillex and Dubstep

I know you don't listen to dubstep, I know this; but I'm gonna get you high today, 'cause it's Friday; you ain't got no job... and you ain't got shit to do. I don't really feel like writing, but you're gonna want these songs for the weekend, so I'm just gonna put them up.

Skrillex- Skrillex is an incredibly weird looking DJ. That's all, that's really all that I have to say about him. You just need to check how unrelenting his music is, I can't imagine what seeing him live would be like. With these songs, if you have never listened to dubstep before, give them at least a minute and a half before you think they completely suck. The whole point of dubstep is to build up to the climax and then drop a gigantic load of brutal noise on your face. Or if you have no attention span, just jump to the first minute or so, but you'll be doing yourself a disservice. Dubstep isn't a sound, it's a feeling.

With Your Friends, Long Drive (The Night Kids Remix of this song is also worth checking out, I could see people liking it even more than the original)

Night Kids Remix

Benny Benassi Feat. Gary Go - Cinema (Skrillex Remix)

Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites (Also check out The Redial's Blastoise Edit)

Other Dubstep

Magnetic Man - I Need Air

DJ Sneak - Southern Boy (12th Planet and Flinch Remix)

N.E.R.D. & Daft Punk - Hypnotize You (Nero Remix)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

7 Indie Jams You Need to Hear

I haven't posted in a while, honestly because my 'blog' class ended and I didn't have to. But I've been on a work binge, which really means music downloading binge, these past few days, and I thought I'd share a few songs that helped me get through the week. Oh yea, most of these songs are from the past two years or so, if you like em, you should check out the artists other albums.

1. Frightened Rabbit - Swim Until You Can't See Land

So far this is my favorite song on their new album "The Winter of Mixed Drinks". If you like it, DL their songs 'Good Arms Vs. Bad Arms', 'Head Rolls Off', and 'The Twist'. So far this album feels weaker than their first, but I've got to give it a few more listens before I make up my mind.

2. The Strokes - I'll Try Anything Once

I heard this in the trailer for Sofia Coppola's Somewhere and it fit perfectly. I don't know if the movie looks good, but this song certainly made the trailer good. It's really a demo version of their other song You Only Live Once. I think this one's much better.

3. Active Child - When Your Love Is Safe

I just found this band yesterday, DLed their 6 track EP, and absolutely love it. It's only 4 bucks on iTunes right now, which is a steal. If you like this song dl the entire album, every song is great except for wilderness and weight of the world. The second video is a studio recording of the song with the two band members playing a harp and bass guitar, which is a pretty redic combo. I've always wanted to hear a harp/bass band perform. The Third is a classixx remix of the song.

4. Jay Electronica - Jazzmataz (feat. Tone Treasure) & Eternal Sunshine

LISTEN TO THIS SONG. Jay is the best lyricist alive and could possibly become one of the greatest rappers ever. I just found Jazzmataz and i've been addicted for the past few days. His song Eternal Sunshine (the Pledge), an 9 minute epic journey in which Jay raps over the score from the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, is the best rap song of the past 10 years and one of the best rap songs ever. These are my two favorite songs of his. If you don't like Eternal Sunshine than your taste in music sucks.

5. Dr. Dog - Where'd All The Time Go

I'm going to see Dr. Dog in DC this weekend. This is my favorite song from their newest album.

6. Monarchy - You Don't Want to Dance With Me

This is about as poppy as my musical tastes get, but it's a jam. I listened to their self-titled album yesterday and it's pretty good, if you like this DL their song 'Floating Cars'.

7. Ducktails - Killin the Vibe (feat. Panda Bear)

Panda Bear, a member of Animal Collective, seems to be taking over the indie music world right now. I haven't heard much of Ducktails, but I love their band name, and if they're other songs are anywhere near as good as this one they're gonna be one of the best bands around. It's such a simple song, but the riff is so listenable that it could repeat for half an hour and I wouldn't mind. I could think about almost anything while listening to this song. And yes, they seem like they do lots of drugs.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Top 10's

Seeing as it's the end of 2010, I thought I'd do lists of all sorts of Top 10s. And without further adieu, let's begin with the Top 10 Albums of 2010 (In my humble opinion).

Top 10 Albums of 2010

1. Sleigh Bells - Treats

This album changed what live music meant to me. Their concert was mind blowing, a moment I don't think I can soon forget. They are one of the few bands that 'own' a particular sound. No one I've ever heard sounds like this, and anyone in the future who does will certainly have been influenced by this album. Give it a listen

Highlights - Everything except Rachel and Run the Heart is jaw dropping-ly great.

2. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

The album that I keep on coming back to the most. Whenever people say that music nowadays is shit, I tell them that only the music they hear on the radio is shit, and I tell them to listen to this album. If it doesn't win album of the year (it's up against Eminem's Recovery and Katie Perry's album [who cares what its called]), than the Grammy's will have completed its final transformation into becoming the MTV Music Awards.

Highlights - The Suburbs, Modern Man, Empty Room, Wasted Hours, Deep Blue, Sprawl II, We Used To Wait, City With No Children

3. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening

This album might have the two best songs of the year (Dance Yrself Clean and Home). If you haven't listened to LCD Soundsystem, than you haven't listened to one of the best bands of our generation. Too bad this is their last album. Thank God I got to see them live before they disband. For some reason James Murphy, the frontman and brains behind LCD, reminds me of David Byrne. LCD is the perfect mix between real band and electronic. I dare you to listen to Dance Yrself Clean and not like it.

Highlights - Dance Yrself Clean, All I Want, I Can Change, Pow Pow, Home

4. Broken Bells - Broken Bells

This band is a collaboration between Danger Mouse and the front man for the Shins, (Brian Burton and James Mercer respectively). I saw them at the 9 30 club earlier this year and it was an insane show. Danger Mouse would wander from instrument to instrument, playing the drums, piano, and guitar during different songs and jam out.

Highlights - The High Road, Vaporize, Citizen, Ocober, The Mall & Misery

5. J. Period & K'Naan - The Messengers

Earlier this year, J. Period and K'Naan released a mixtape dubbed "The Messengers". It features two discs, One a set of covers/remixes of Bob Marley songs, the other of Bob Dylan songs. When I first heard of the album, I thought that it couldn't possibly live up to the greatness of the songs they were copying, but I was blown away by how the material is dealt with. You can get this album for free at, I'd get it now if I were you. The Dylan side is also stronger than the Marley side. Listen to that one first and DONT skip the intro's to songs, theyre great.

Highlights - My Country/Small Axe, Fatima/Stir It Up, Don't Think Twice, Relationships Lay, Hard Rain, It's Alright, Ma

6. Vampire Weekend - Contra

Highlights - White Sky, Giving Up The Gun, Diplomat's Son (one of the best songs of the year)

7. Beach House - Teen Dream

Highlights - Zebra, Norway, Walk In The Park, 10 Mile Stereo

8. The National - High Violet

Highlights - Terrible Love, Afraid of Everyone, Bloodbuzz Ohio, England, Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks

9. Das Racist - Sit Down, Man

Highlights - All Tan Everything, Commercial, Luv It Mayne, Rapping 2 U, Return to Innocence

10. Local Natives - Gorilla Manor

Highlights - Wide Eyes, Airplanes, Sun Hands, World News, Cards and Quarters

Honorable Mentions

Big Boi - Sir Luscious Left Foot

Gorillaz - Plastic Beach

Kid Cudi - Man on the Moon pt 2

Sufjan Stevens - Age of Adz

The Third Twin - Homemade

Tame Impala - Innerspeaker

Hot Chip - One Life Stand

Delorean - Subiza

Surfer Blood - Astro Coast

MGMT - Congratulations

What would your top 10 be?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Colorado On My Mind

Tonight marks the beginning of the end of the semester. This bi-annual occurrence comes to let us 'people of leisure' know there 'ain't no such thing as a free lunch'. (Especially for us English majors who don't do any work other than papers that seem to pile up like a cars in a Blues Brothers chase scene). But I knew this would happen. Trust me, I am well aware of what a week in hell feels like. It's 12:30AM, I've got an 8-10 page paper due tomorrow that I haven't started, and I'm actually doing this post as a way to procrastinate the paper (two birds with one stone if you ask me). Hopefully that doesn't reflect poorly on me. But anyways, back to the matter at hand. So I've got this damn paper due and a whole slew of papers and exams and presentations and all nighters and all day-ers and chewed pencaps and pages and pages of boringness that I have to somehow find meaning in to conquer over the next two weeks and the only reason I can think of to go through with it all is to get to Colorado. That's actually kind of a lie, Christmas is pretty awesome. But that's expected. So I'm thinking of Colorado. And Snow. And a wooden lodge in a tiny town on the side of a mountain.

And since I'm not writing my paper right now, I'm putting together a playlist for Eff-POP (and for myself) of songs that I will be pumping through my IPOD as I hike/ski/atv through the Colorado wilderness.

Bruce Springsteen

The release of the Promise is the closest I will ever come to time traveling. Other than of course 'actually' time traveling which I plan on doing when I'm older. Bruce fan's were able to hear some new 'old' Bruce songs, not that I don't like his new music (I even love Devils and Dust). But it's certainly better than Outlaw Pete. I still have no idea why Bruce chose that as one of his staple tour songs. These songs though, make you feel like you're hearing something trapped since the mid 70s. The type of songwriting that can only happen during Bruce's early career, when life was as abtruse as it was poignant. Some of the songs us hardcore fans have most assuredly already heard (Racing In the Street, Rendezvous, Because the Night), but there are a few that I can't believe I ever lived without. I should probably start off by saying that I am a die hard Bruce fan. From my senior year of high school to my junior year of college I saw him eight times in five different states, one which included a 10 minute guitar battle with Tre Anasatasio to Wilson Pickett's cover of Mustang Sally and an amazing rendition of Bobby Jean with all of Phish. I could write a 50 page paper about how the Boss's music is important, but seeing as how I have to write a 8 page paper on Asians in American Film I'm just gonna list my two favorite songs from the Promise.

Ain't Good Enough For You
(Jimmy Iovine, the person he pokes fun of, was Bruce's producer. Fun fact, he was credited with giving Dr. Dre Eminem's rap mixtape. No Bruce, No Iovine. No Iovine, No Eminem. Just wanna make that clear.)

City At Night

Taxi Cab, Taxi Cab, at the light
Won’t you take me on a ride through this city of night
I got some money and I’m feeling fine
I ain’t in no hurry so just take your time
Some people wanna die young and gloriously
But Taxi Cab driver, well that ain’t me
I got a cute little baby down at 12th and Vine
And she opens for business just about closing time

It don't get no better than that.

Das Racist

I got to meet these three ridiculous rappers (actually just two of them) at SXSW for a short minute after they played a set in some Billiards bar. My friend Mike went to Wesleyan with them and has been pushin for me to listen to them for a while. After he sent me their 'Sit Down Man' Mix tape, I've been playin them almost constantly. This is a new song I just found today, it's great. I love when they just ramble with pointless noises, who cares what they're saying, it sounds great. Oh and if you do care what they're saying, it's still great music. It's like stupid smart people music. That's the best way I can put it.

You Oughta Know

Mr. Little Jeans

I don't know much about Mr. Little Jeans, but this song is as hot as Dylon from Chappelle show and this girl spits hot fire. That might throw you off a bit with how the song really is, but who cares. You should probably just listen to it.

Rescue Song (RAC Remix)

Bloodhound Gang

You can 'do it like they do' in a whole new way with this song. Super legit dubstep remix, for all those nice winter parties.

The Bad Touch

Broken Social Scene

I don't know much about this band, the only thing I really know about them is a guy I know hooked up with the girl in it (there might be a bunch, theres like 20 people in the band), but I always hear people talking about them. I guess our paths never crossed, until this song. It's pretty legit, and it's already gotten me to start listening to BSS.

Art House Director


Alexander is the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero's, or really Alex Ebert's side project (the Jesus lookin lead singer). I don't know much about Alexander, but they've released a few singles that I've heard. This song is amazing. It's one of my brother's picks for song of the year, and though I'm not sure yet if I'd put it up there I will say that it's great and only getting better with each listen.


White Lies

In the summer of 2009, I somehow, despite the rigorous London School of Economics academic schedule, was fortunate enough to hang out with a great group of Londoners at the Secret Garden Party in Huntington. One of them ended up coming to DC to intern for the North Dakota Senator and a few crazy stories happened throughout that season. While we were talking about music, I asked if they had heard of White Lies because I knew they were British. It was kind of a rhetorical question, because their debut album had taken the #1 spot from U2's newest one. But I found out that two of the members went to school with most of the kids and that they were all friends. There were some dreams of being able to go to a concert and party like a rockstar, but those were for the birds. (They ended up touring throughout Asia while we were there). I was amazed cause they have the sound of a band that's been jamming for at least 10 years. The lead singer sounds much older than 23. Anyways, this is one of their new songs and it's a mother effin jam. This type of rock is really dead in America. It died sometime in the late 90s. Great mother effin decade.

Bigger Than Us
(Yay! Real Music Video!)