Friday, January 28, 2011

Song of the Week (Boards of Canada - ROYGBIV)

Scotland fraternal duo, Boards of Canada isn't for everyone. They will never get radio play. They rarely tour. You probably haven't heard of them. And they are awesome. I don't remember how I came across them, maybe it was an early Pandora recommendation circa 2004, maybe it was from a Nintendo game soundtrack, but they have had a fairly significant impact on post-college JZ musical taste, for better or worse.

If you're like me, you probably work a fair amount of weekends and you just want to get in there do work and get out. Boards occupies a permanent slot on my "Do work" mix. This is not to be confused with the "Du werk" mix. Allow me to expound upon the differences:

Do work mix:
1) Characterized by minimal lyrics, soundscapes and awesomeness
2) Applicable listening moments: at work, while running at night, on flights
3) Representative bands: Boards of Canada, Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai, Air

Du werk mix:
1) Characterized by upbeat party music, some hip-hop, some pop-tronica, other music that dominates
2) Applicable listening moments: post-shower / pre-T-shirt time, at a party, on your Friday drive home from work
3) Representative bands: Justice, J-5, Health (remixes), Crystal Castles, Outkast

As there is a time for every season, so there is a song for every moment...(<--= so F'ing deep)

Allow me to weird you out with this hit Boards of Canada song: "ROYGBIV"

I'm fairly certain this is fan-created content, but it I think Boards would approve. The video is a collection of 1980s UK TV advertisements. Remember when you had to watch TV ads? Man that sucked! The synth-bassline to this song, just absolutely kills. Coincidentally, this song straddles both the "Do work" and the "Du werk" mixes...a feat in itself.

Hope you Dig,

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Song of the Year 2010 (???? - ?????)


I came to some startling conclusions this week while doing research on the "Song of the Year: 2010 Totally Blogged". The main conclusion is this: I am wildly out of touch with today's least according to Billboard, Rolling Stone, Said the Gramaphone, and some other stupid music blog. Well, if you have read more than one entry in this blog, then you are probably aware that I have some definite opinions on what music is awesome and that which is awesome at sucking...

Here are Rolling Stone's top 10 Songs of 2010:
10) Kanye West and a bunch of other people - "Monster" (sucked 'cep for Nicki Minaj...soooo hawt right now)
09) Broken Bells - "The Ghost Inside" (OK, I have heard of/seen these guys, and they are f'ing sweet...although not my fave Bro-ken Bellz track)
08) Janelle Monae ft. Big Boi - Tightrope
07) Vampire Weekend - "White Sky" (If it aint Cousins...I don't wanna hear it. Suck it Vampy Weekend)
06) Mavis Staples - "You Are Not Alone" (Written by Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco/Uncle Tupelo fame...dece)
05) Arcade Fire - "We Used to Wait" (totally radd!)
04) Katy Perry - "Teenage Dream" (Eye candy...that's basically it)
03) Sade - "Soldier of Love" (Love Sade...but the song is not #3 material for 2k10)
02) Cee Lo Green - "F*ck You" (Unless you've been living under a rock for the last 6 months, you've heard this song. Just so you are aware...even my Mom has heard of this song. She said the other day, "Hey Johnny have you heard that new Gnarls Barkley guy sing "Forget You?!" I hope for your sake, that my Mom isn't cooler than you.)
01) Kanye West - "Runaway" (Has the whole world gone CRAYZY!? I've ranted enough this year about the self-felatio known as Kanye West. I do hate the argument that: "Well even if you don't like Kanye, you have to respect his music." Well by that logic should I respect Hitler's ability to commit genocide? Too far? I bad...)

Oh Rolling Stone...your relevancy is becoming increasingly questionable.

Best Video (which I hadn't watched until yesterday): Janelle Monae - "Tightrope"
I really enjoyed this video. It was just fun watching this super-hot yet strange looking girl straight dominate a hallway / cafeteria dance party while singing w/ Big Boi. Just greatness.

Other awards won by Janelle:
1) Best slow-motion dance moves
2) Best hair cut

Song of the Year: Mark Ronson - "Bang Bang Bang featuring Q-Tip and MNDR"

I can't get over how rad this song/video is. Such epic synths. Such awesome dance moves. Such elegant use of lasers. I mean was I just late to the party on this one? Why is this not playing at every club in America. One thing is for is playing at Club John & Roman on the reg.

2010 was a solid year for music. Bands like Yeasayer, Arcade Fire, M.I.A., Massive Attack all had huge years. I like where things are headed, and I'm expecting great things for 2011.

Put it in 2011,

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Song of the Week (Boyz II Men - Motown Philly)

Welp, my sister and brother-in-law are moving to Philly. WTF!? I'm just playin. I actually think it's pretty sweet. I hear there are some pretty cool haircuts out there, and I'm looking forward to learning if Philly hipsters are hipper than Austin thinks not.

In salute to Philadelphia I perused the Philly music wikipedia page, however even before I did this, I knew what the SOTW was gonna be: Motown Philly

This choice was made even more difficult when I discovered that Hall & Oates hail from the city of Brotherly out for Maneaters (YIKES!).

Couldn't we all use a little more East Coast Swang in our lives? I sure could. If someone bottled East Coast Swang, I would drank long as it had a similar composition to that of 4Loko.

The more important distinction here is that Zard and Stanton, up until this point, were simply Boyz with dreams. Now...well now they are Men...and they are goin' off! Not too hard, not too soft.

If you take nothing else away from this experience, please learn to harmonize...that's definitely the best part of the song. If I were a bully back in the day in Philly, and I heard Boyz II Men do this, I would totally wanna pound em (a la Buzz from Home Alone), but I wouldn't be able to, because it just sounded too sweet. You've escaped this round Boyz II Men...

Special bday shout out to Zard and Tom-bone. Tom, you're also a Boyz II Man.

Hope you Dig,

Friday, January 7, 2011

Song of the Week (Pantera - Hollow)

Apologies for the tardiness of this entry. BTW, at some point in the next month I'll put together a "best of 2010". There may even be some voting involved! I don't even know!

As some of you may know, I recently went to Peru for a 10-day exploration with mi amigo PT. That's what people say in Peru: "mi amigo" and things such as this. You know what annoys me? When people go on a trip abroad and say: "Oh it really changed my whole perspective on the world" or "It really broadened my horizons" or "I got robbed by Los Lobos Locos after purchasing some black market baby alpaca kitten mittens." We get it. You went on a trip, and it was totally rad. SMD.

On my horizon-broadening trip, I learned a lot about the Incan Empire. I bet most of you don't even know the difference between an Incan and an Aztec. Truthfully, I don't either. Horizons = unchanged. One of my fondest memories of the trip was when PT and I were couped up in a children's tent talking about how our world perspectives were totally changed. We were supposed to go to sleep because we were set to wake up at 1:30am to climb the rest of the volcano (El Misti) to reach summit near sunrise. It was 5pm and we weren't going to sleep, so we went through my Ipod to jam some tunes of our past (and future). We came across a hidden gem that hadn't surfaced on any playlist for years: Pantera: "Hollow".
Tribute to Dimebag Darrell (He was gunned down by a crazy fan at a 2004 show...RIP)

One cannot deny the extreme badass-itude of Pantera. Hailing from the album: Vulgar Display of Power, seriously? Tell me an album title that can step to this? When you hear that opening Dimebag Darrell signature harmonized drone opening, you know it's time to adjust your feet into your power stance. Then when the break comes...prepare to take a 3+ minute bizness trip.

So there we were in the tent, just rocking out to some Pantera on the side of a volcano. Horizons = unchanged. Perspectives = unchanged. Awesomeness = achieved.

In conclusion, you don't have to travel to Peru to grasp the SOTW. You just have to be willing to embrace your inner power-stance.

Shout out to S. Smith on this her 28th bday. For you I have provided a less frightening song for you to celebrate your bday: the best Beatles song

Hope you Dig,