Make sure to check out the new site at music-rag.com

1.31.2013

"Don't You Worry Child"

       I hate putting up posts on the last day of the month because they'll be hidden behind a tab by the next day (and very few bands deserve to be hidden from view). Instead, just listen to this song and, by the time February rolls around tomorrow, I'll have a few 'new' bands for you to check out. Until then, this is one of the best songs that the electronic dance music (EDM) genre has produced in years and only makes it more disheartening that the group has decided to part ways.
       If you like covers, listen to this one; DSharp does an amazing violin rendition of the hit song.
"Don't You Worry Child" Swedish House Mafia (featuring John Martin)
- E

1.30.2013

"Fred Astaire"

       San Cisco finally released a music video for their song "Fred Astaire" (like fifty minutes ago..) and it's just as adorable as the song is. The song is upbeat, cute, and addictive, and this video filled with hazy lighting, exuberant dancers, and ballroom combinations works great with those lyrics and music. 
       Unfortunately, you can only see it if you have the video link so I cannot add the music video itself to this post, but all you have to do is follow the link and you can (should be able to) watch the video.
       "Fred Astaire" San Cisco
- E

The Maine

       The Maine (a quintet from Tempe, Arizona) was formed in 2006 by Garrett Nickelsen and Pat Kirch (bassist and drummer, respectively); John O'Callaghan (singer), Ryan Osterman, and Alex Ross joined the band after Nickelsen and Kirch held auditions, though Osterman and Ross left the band after their first EP (Stay Up, Get Down) was released, making room for Kennedy Brock and Jared Monaco to join. In 2007, the band signed to Fearless Records and released their second EP, The Way We Talk, before releasing their first full-length album, Can't Stop, Won't Stop, and an holiday EP, ...And a Happy New Year, in 2008. The band signed to Warner Bros. Records in 2009, releasing a fourth EP (In Darkness & In Light) and their second album, Black & White, in 2010 and embarking on their first headlining tour. Pioneer, the bands third album, was released in 2011 (re-released in September [2012] in the UK and Europe as Pioneer and The Good Love and featured six new tracks; in the US, you can get these tracks as Good Love- The Pioneer B-Sides), and the band is currently working on their fourth album (which will be an independent release) with Brendan Benson (solo artist and from The Raconteurs; this next album is bound to be great).
        At some point in your life, you will fall in love with The Maine; they're great (and continually getting better) so it's kind of inevitable (I fell in love with their sound a few years ago when I was paired with a roommate who may be The Maine's biggest fan). Their first album (Can't Stop, Won't Stop) was just fun and good (and still is), their second album (Black & White) contained a mixture of their early pop rock sound with a more alternative rock sound (and showed just how much the band had grown since their first album), and their third album is so stuffed full of great alternative rock songs, mature lyrics, and perfectly simple guitar riffs that it's hard not to be proud of this band that so easily made the transition from a cute boy band with good music to a group of guys who can create something as beautiful as "Take Me Dancing".
       "Give Me Anything" and "We Change, We Wait" may be from the band's first EP's, but the songs are still great and they show the talent for song-writing and composition which the band has always had.
       Can't Stop, Won't Stop may be the bands first album, but it's still full of really great songs. "I Must Be Dreaming" and "Into Your Arms" are just cute (and you have to like the line, "she had the most amazing smile, I bet you didn't expect that"), while "You Left Me" and "Girls Do What They Want" are just really great songs (and fun to dance around to).
       The bands sound changed from their first album to their second, but Black & White is no less great than their first album was; it relies more heavily on punk rock sounds and less so on the punk pop that was so prevalent on their first album. Songs like "Don't Stop Now", "Fuel to the Fire" and "Right Girl" are impossible to not sing-along to and the only thing better than those lyrics are those heavy drum beats and insistent guitar riffs that make you want to dance. "Growing Up" is nostalgic and great and "Listen to Your Heart" just makes me happy; plus, "Inside of You" is great because it was written about a girl that thought O'Callaghan was gay (there is no deeper meaning with sweet analogies; it's a song about sex with a funny back-story).
       The band took the time to mature and redefine themselves (from a punk boy band to a mature quintet) a bit before releasing their third album, Pioneer; this new sound is amazing. The band sounds like they've finally found some really great solid ground on which to build their musical careers and I can't wait to hear what they have coming on their next album. "My Heroine" and "Time" have really great rock beats (with even better lyrics), and "Some Days" and "Don't Give Up On 'Us'" do a great job of infusing their new rock sound with a little bit of that punk pop that was so prevalent on their earlier albums, making the songs just fun enough that they become completely addictive. "Thinking of You" is the most adorable song; "Whoever She Is" was cute, "Into Your Arms" makes me smile, and "Listen to Your Heart" is just good, but "Thinking of You" is a perfect mixture of 'cutesy' with a little bit of a rock beat and a punk rock guitar riff that makes it more than acceptable to hit that replay button. "While Listening to Rock & Roll" sounds like it's influenced a little more by country than by rock and shows a more mellow side to the band; a sound which is easy to hear on their newest EP, Good Love- The Pioneer B-Sides.
       Their latest EP featured songs that relied more heavily on the influences of classic rock and country chords than anything else, but the band makes this new sound work for them; and the only thing better than the new compositions are those always great lyrics the band so easily creates. "I'm Leaving" and "Hello World" have great guitar riffs (and great lyrics, as always), while "I Want You" shows a mellow side of the band (relying heavily on acoustic sounds) that we have not heard too often. "You'll Never Know" and "Take Me Dancing" may be the most amazing songs the band has ever created (I cannot emphasize enough how great "Take Me Dancing" is; it's at a level of perfection that few songs can reach). "Good Love" is an amazing song and a really great way to end their EP; my anticipation for their next album only grows stronger each time I hear those guitar riffs and drum beats join up at that 2:35 mark.
       Good lyrics and solid compositions are a staple to this bands music and I have no fucking clue how they are not yet famous; The Maine has released five EP's and three full-length albums and not one of their songs has been 'bad' (plus, the only version of "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" that I have ever liked is The Maine's). Check out the band in the links below and make sure to keep an eye out for announcements on their upcoming fourth album release.
http://wearethemaine.net/8123/
https://twitter.com/themaine
https://www.facebook.com/themaine
- E

1.29.2013

"High Hopes"

       Kodaline's music video for "High Hopes" is, finally, available to watch in the U.S. As with every other Kodaline song, the lyrics and music take raw emotions and turn them into a heart-wrenchingly perfect song and the music video could not be more beautiful (lyrics like "seems to me like I'm just scared of never feeling it again, but I know it's crazy to believe in silly things", "in my dreams I meet the ghosts of all the people who have come and gone, memories they seem to show up so quick, but they leave you far too soon" and every line in that chorus, culminating in "but the world keeps spinning around" all amaze me). "The Answer" and "All My Friends" will both be featured on the bands High Hopes EP which will be released (in the UK) March 3rd. The bands first full-length album, In A Perfect World, will be released March 25th (again, only overseas).
       I've done a lot of band posts and, though all of the bands I've featured are amazing, they will not all be famous; Kodaline will be famous. Steve Garrigan (lead singer) is quoted as saying "music should have a purpose... Our purpose is honesty", and that statement explains why the band, and all of their music, is perfection.
"High Hopes" Kodaline
- E

1.28.2013

"Drinkin"

       I cannot get enough of this song. If lines like "why are you screaming like I don't have ears" and "why are you leaving like we don't exist" don't make this song great for you, then the combination of the obvious emotion in Williams' voice and that 2:30 mark where the song picks back up after a pause should convince you that, as far as good country music goes, it's kind of great; it's a perfect example of why country is always a great genre.
       Williams' vocals flow over those guitar chords perfectly, the fiddle adds just enough bite to keep the song moving forward (without getting too wrapped up in its own melancholia), and the lyrics are so addictive and great that I found myself singing along by my second listen. 
       Check out Williams' song in the link below and be assured that a post for her great music (and her new album which will be released February 5th and which you can get on AmazoniTunes, or Holly Williams' website) is already being worked out. 
    Her music video is not yet on YouTube, but you can watch it here: http://www.cmt.com/videos/holly-williams/874606/drinkin.jhtml or you can just watch a live version in the video below (either way, the song is still addictive and pretty great).
- E

1.27.2013

Best Mixes

       Now that my computer is finally virus free, Google Chrome works again, and I don't have to rely on my phone or someone else's computer to get things done (nothing is worse than being computer-less for two weeks), I can finally get back to writing about really great bands and all of the new music that has come out this past month. While I work on that, you can enjoy some pretty great remixes/mashups; the weirdest combinations always make the best mixes.
"Kids vs. Like A G6" Lobsterdust
"Call Me Maybe Remix" Timeflies
"Tik Tok Together (Ke$ha vs. The Beatles)" Doctordude
"Bulletproof" Cyhi Da Prince featuring Yelawolf
"Fly" DJ Earworm
"Hey We Will Rock You Ya (Outkast vs. Queen)" DJ Prince
"Red Hot Chilipop (Red Hot Chili Peppers vs. Lil Wayne)" White Noise
"You Oughta Know" Das Racist
"I Knew You Were Trouble Remix" Eppic featuring Alex G.
"Fade Into Krewella (Krewella vs. Avicii)" Brovanni
"Top of the Pops 2011 (What the Fuck)" Mashup-Germany
- E

1.25.2013

"End of the World"

       Remember when I mentioned (went on and on about) that Lady Danville was the best band in existence and that their music is the reason that I, once again, love music? No? Well, you're probably not as invested in their success (or my slight obsession) as I am. 
       I have interwoven my renewed love of music with my love of Lady Danville for so many years that it was kind of difficult to separate the two after the band initially broke up and it did become a little more difficult to write about music and get excited about new bands, initially. Shortly before I left for Germany, this video was released and I wrote a weeks worth of posts in a matter of hours; their music is inherently inspirational. Lady Danville was amazing, but Dan and Michael have created perfection, even without Matt.
       This is Hunter Hunted (Dan Chang and Michael Garner; Lady Danville, sans Matthew Frankel).
"End of the World" Hunter Hunted
 You should check out this too; it's amazing (but what else would you expect).
- E

1.24.2013

"The Fighter" Remix

       "The Fighter" (Gym Class Heroes) is already a really amazing song, but, somehow, Eppic manages to make it even better.
"The Fighter"- Eppic, Saint Maurice, Kait Weston
- E

Tightrope EP

       WALK THE MOON may be the most adorable band I have featured. I love Sleeperstar, Lady Danville is no longer a band (so they can no longer be the most adorable), Foxy Shazam is cute in an oddball sort of way, and Walk off the Earth and Ra Ra Riot are full of amazing musicians and great lyrics, but you just can't get better than a quartet of lovable guys from the midwest who are set on making their dreams as musicians come true.
       The band released their most recent EP, Tightrope, this week; it features six songs, two of which are new (the other four songs include a cover of Talking Head's "Burning Down the House", a re-release of "Tightrope" and "Anywayican", and an acoustic version of "Tightrope").
       "Tightrope" opens with a great guitar riff and electronic/pop beat that will have you convinced that this song is great, even before Petricca chimes in with "easy now, with my heart". Though we've been hearing this song since the Anna Sun EP was released, it's still a really great song. The only thing better than "Tightrope" finally getting it's chance to be showcased on an album (out from under the shadow created by the greatness of "Anna Sun") is the inclusion of an acoustic version of "Tightrope" on this EP; it's really something amazing.
       "Anywayican" begins with only Petricca's vocals and the always cute lyrics that WALK THE MOON is so great at creating. Lyrics like "I can't frown long with your face in my head, too too long since I had a smile on my head" and "I asked you if we were gonna make it, make it all the way, you said no" make this song cute enough that it had to be re-released in order to get more attention from any new fans of the band.
       "Tete-A-Tete" just sounds like a 'classic' WALK THE MOON song; it's great. It has a swirling melody, a strong guitar riff and drum beat that make you want to dance around, and good lyrics that are just asking to be sung along to. An opening line that states "love is so irrational, the more we fight the less I know" and a chorus which claims "I want you just as bad, just as bad as I always have" make this song just as great as all of their others.
       "Drunk In the Woods" sounds a little more experimental than most of their songs, but it is no less great. The composition fits these lyrics perfectly, only becoming better as the song progresses. Though this song may sound different from the other songs WALK THE MOON has released in the past, it's a really amazing work of art and I can't stop listening to it.
       The band's version of "Burning Down the House" maintains the same upbeat and fun sound which was so central to the original by Talking Heads, but twists it from an '80's pop song to an indie pop song; somehow, the band manages to make this cover sound even more fun and 'danceable' than the original was. 
       WALK THE MOON is already working on their next full length album, but there is no set release date yet as the band is still on tour and does not plan to make it to the studio until sometime this spring.
- E

1.23.2013

"Killin' It"

       Nothing makes you feel better like a heavy dose of Foxy.
       Not everyone can just jump into Foxy Shazam's music and love it right away (I didn't like their music at all until I saw them live; now, of course, I'm addicted, but I like it better this way), so try listening to some of their best songs first ("The Streets", "I Wanna Be Yours", "Yes! Yes! Yes!", "The Only Way to My Heart", "Wanna-Be Angel", and, of course, "Killin' It") or watching their live performances; they're great. Also, stop. Taking. Music. So. Seriously. This band is odd, ridiculous, adorable, and so, so much fun; just listen to their music, love them, and don't waste your time trying to critique them because you'll just sound boring.
- E

1.22.2013

Blue Eyes

       It's no secret that I love Sleeperstar; they're kind of awesome. This new album may be a lot shorter than what I wanted after their two year break from recording after releasing Just Another Ghost, but it is just an EP and it's no less amazing than what I expected.
       Listening to this album took me awhile because I could not stop myself from hitting repeat after "Replay" was finished (and so on and so on with each subsequent song). The vocals start before the instrumentation (on "Replay"), making this the best song the band could have chosen to open their EP; those opening vocals should make you smile because there's something undeniably great about Pearson's voice (it's sweet and full and just the right mixture of rough and 'pretty'). Aside from the vocals, the composition is really great with the drum and the piano intermingling seamlessly and reaching it's crescendo at just the right time. As always, the lyrics in this song are great; Sleeperstar always has the most beautiful lyrics. Lines like "this pain is just a cracked star bursting inside you, it will try to divide you," "this hand that touches your skin is tearing your heart out, from this height it's a long way down," "you let go of the one thing that you held onto, but someday I will find you," and that refrain which continues to state "they never loved you, they always run away, this is not a new way, this is just a replay" just amaze me.
        "Sparks" has a great guitar riff that opens the song (and continues throughout), a solid back beat, and, as always, great lyrics. It's a stark contrast to the sound and lyrics on "Replay", but with lines like "this could be our last regret if I let you go" and "the way we lost our innocence, you said it was an accident" this song is just as great as the first one on the EP. Though this may not be a new song (the others on the EP are all new), it is a great song and it's really great that the band was able to re-release it in order to garner more attention for such a good song.
       "Call It What It Is" is the band's first released single from Blue Eyes and it's great. The spaced vocals sit in contrast to a moderate guitar riff and drum beat, creating a dreamy feel that is only reinforced by lines like "do you hear this, do you know what's going on" and "all I wanted was to feel the touch, to let me know that you were here". Plus, the only person who could sing a line like "all I wanted was the rain to fall on us while I held you in my arms, but the space between us is too far to cross, so let's be honest with ourselves" with that much unabashed emotion is Pearson and the only band that could end a song this great in such a perfect way (by allowing the instrumentation to dwindle out until we are left with just a piano) is Box, Lester, Menary, and Ross.
       "Love Again" opens with that same strong guitar presence as "Sparks", yet it is so much better (in my opinion). Pearson's vocals and that steady guitar (and those always great lyrics) make this song fantastic. Sleeperstar is one of maybe three bands that has an innate ability to make entire verses where each lyric line is just as amazing as the last; "There are those who tell you you are fine, brave enough to weather any storm of mine to the other side...you fail to see the reason for my song, standing here to say, I've been here all along waiting on you" and "all the shame, you're gonna bury me...there's a way that we can love again, be loved again, we will never live this down" are only two examples of how great each verse is, in its entirety. Plus, the band ends this song perfectly (again) by allowing the instrumentation to fade out until only Pearson's vocals remain.
       "Hold On (Milo)" is the shortest song on the EP (at only fifty-nine seconds) and, while it may not be my favorite song from this album, it makes me more excited for what is to come than any of the other songs. The other songs are completed and clearly showcase the bands talents, but "Milo" promises more great songs to come on the next album and is reminiscent of the sound bit from "Blue Eyes" which was released months before this EP was released; it's short and simple with amazing lyrics that will circle around in your head and a haunting melody that will only leave you wanting more by the time it has faded to an end.
       "Blue Eyes" heads back to that solid alternative rock sound that the band created so effortlessly on their last album and features the bridge which was released as an album preview a few months ago. It's the perfect song to wrap up the album and sounds as if the band reached their 'creative climax', or so to speak, by the time they had recorded this song. The lyrics are sweet and simple and are set against a composition that layers upon itself, expanding until it becomes as intricate as the lyrics are simple (and the repetition of "I will not run from your blue eyes, from your blue eyes I will not run" does produce a simple refrain). It may not have the most 'meaningful' lyrics on the album, but with lines like "I don't know what you've done to me, inside my heart's on fire, outside I'm cold as ice" and "we both know what you said...I know what you meant, so tell me what you want from me, and I'll be what you need," the song is easily the most likeable song on the album (and probably the most adorable).
        Once again, Sleeperstar confirms the fact that, even in a place where country reigns (Texas), an alternative rock band can still come together and create something amazing (this album is as close to perfection as any album can be). "Replay" and "Love Again" may be my favorite songs on the album, but every other song is just as great and all of them are put together beautifully. If you like Sleeperstar, buy their Blue Eyes EP so you can support them (and so that they can release their next full length album sooner, rather than later).
- E

1.21.2013

Workout (2)

       I have done a 'workout playlist' before, but that earlier playlist was made more for running than for a serious workout and, whether you need to get in shape fast (because February seemed a lot further away when you checked your calendar last month) or your reasons are purely superficial, you can set this playlist to shuffle and repeat and the beat should keep you going (even when all you want is to lay down, regardless of how dirty the floor is). 
"Starstrukk" 3OH!3 and Katy Perry
"Power & Control" Marina and The Diamonds
"Titanium" David Guetta and Sia
"Don't You Worry Child" Swedish House Mafia
"You're Gonna Go Far, Kid" The Offspring
"False Pretense" The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
"Party At a Rich Dude's House" Ke$ha
"Happening" Chiddy Bang
"Tik Tok Together" Doctordude
"Bulletproof" La Roux
"Invincible" OK Go
"La, La, La" Auburn featuring Iyaz
- E

1.19.2013

"Foundations"

       Only Kate Nash could put together such blatantly true lyrics (without dressing them up and making them artful) with a simple and full composition and still create something that comes out sounding a little bit like a masterpiece. 
       The lyrics read more like a diary entry than something that was meant to be in a song (like, "you've gone and got sick on my trainers, I only got these yesterday" or "then I'll use that voice that you find annoyin', and say something like, 'intelligent input darlin' why don't you have another beer then?'"), yet they still work perfectly, and the constant and swirling piano melody is perfect for a song like this; and Nash never fails to put together the best chorus' and this song is no exception. Besides, Kate Nash is the only 'pop' artist today who would put "and dear God, I hope I'm not stuck with this one" in a relationship song.
       Plus, the music video is kind of great.
"Foundations" Kate Nash

- E

1.18.2013

"Call It What It Is"

       There are only a few more days before Sleeperstar's next EP, Blue Eyes, is released (the release date was moved up from January 29th to the 22nd), but you can still listen to new Sleeperstar music a few days before you buy the album. I might be a little too excited for the earlier release date, but Sleeperstar never fails to make an amazing song and, if you have not fallen for them already, you should start doing so now, because the band is pretty great and their music is even better.
       Plus, (like nearly every other Sleeperstar song) this song only gets better each time you listen to it.
"Call It What It Is" Sleeperstar
- E

1.16.2013

WOTE and Selah Sue

       Walk off the Earth has another cover of, yet another, great song. Their cover of Frankie Valli's "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" already sounds nice with Marshall's acoustic intro, two ukes, and Luminati's beatboxing, but it does not get really great until Selah Sue chimes in (her voice sounds classic and it's kind of addictive). 
       Walk off the Earth's next full length album is set for a March 19th release, though all of their upcoming tour dates are set overseas (except for tomorrow nights Detroit show).
- E

The Wombats

       The Wombats have achieved moderate success in the UK (and throughout Europe), yet their lack of popularity in the US remains an enigma (especially while bands like One Direction or The Wanted are allowed to come from the UK and be famous) to me. An indie rock band trio from Liverpool, England (Matthew Murphy, Dan Haggis, Tord Ă˜verland-Knudsen), The Wombats have released various EP's (The Hangover Sessions, No. 3, The Daring Adventures of Sgt. Wimbo and His Pet Otter, and The Wombats EP [which acted as their introductory album to the US under their US record label, Bright Antenna, in 2008]) and three full length albums. Girls, Boys, and Marsupials was released only in Japan in 2005 while their official debut album, A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation, was released in 2007, and their most recent album, This Modern Glitch, was released in 2010.
       Though The Wombats may not be insanely famous, their music is amazing. The lyrics are always perfect and their compositions (all with good, solid back-beats) could not be put together better. Plus, The Wombats make better use of backing vocals than any other popular artist today (check out "Schumacher the Champagne", "Kill the Director", "Last Night I Dreamt...", "Moving to New York", "Jump Into the Fog" for some examples).
       While The Wombats have, like most bands, gotten better over time, songs like "Kill the Director", "School Uniforms", and especially "Let's Dance to Joy Division" (all from A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation) will always be great, no matter how many albums the band releases. Lyrics like "I don't know why I want to voice this out loud, it's therapeutic somehow" and "everything is going wrong, but we're so happy" and videos which feature an always apathetic  looking Murphy never fail to make these songs fun. 
       "Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves)" and "Our Perfect Disease" get better each time you listen to them because none of those lyrics in "Tokyo" are anything less than great ("we all need someone to drive us mad" is just good) and both compositions are a perfect mixture of upbeat techno and indie rock.
       The lyrics in "Jump Into the Fog" are easy and addictive and the softly building composition makes the song a little too irresistible. "Anti-D" lacks those heavy drums and fast pace, opting for a slow composition, but the lyrics are just sweet as every other song from the band.
       "Here Comes the Anxiety" is written greatly and the composition follows those lyrics around, reflecting those emotions and creating a wonderfully simple sound and, adversely, songs like "Valentine" just sound adorable (if you don't look too far beyond the lyrics) and, if the lyrics don't have you hooked in the first fifteen seconds, when that drum beat picks up at that one minute mark it will be impossible not to smile because you know that the song is about to become great.
       "1996" is just good (kind of perfect, actually) and, with lyrics like "we kiss with one eye on our T.V. set" and "the more I give the less I get", it's hardly worth mentioning the heavy bass and the strong piano melody which makes that composition as great as those lyrics.
       "Techno Fan" is just fun; with mature lyrics and a great beat, it's impossible not to move around to. Plus, no line in any song is more satisfying than "shut up and move with me, move with me, or, or get out of my face", especially when that guitar picks up and those background vocals chime in.
       No matter how much I might adore "Valentine" and "1996" or how many times I can play "Schumacher the Champagne" or "Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves)" on repeat, no other song from The Wombats will ever be as great as "Walking Disasters". The composition is perfect and the lyrics could not have been chosen or put together better; the song is altogether amazing. It is one of very few songs that can be played on repeat without becoming tired and lyrics like "right now we need some pop psychology to keep us up-beat" and every single line in that chorus (and every line in each verse and in the bridge..), combined with that great guitar riff and that constant back beat (a strong drum beat is always awesome) makes this song perfect.
       The Wombats have this innate ability to just make really good music, so make sure to check out and support the band because their music is great and they deserve to keep making more of it.
http://thewombats-2.warnerartists.com/
- E

1.15.2013

1/15/13

"Lightning" Alex Goot
"Goodbye Serenade" The Rebel Light
"If I Lose Myself" OneRepublic
"Home" Eppic featuring Tyler Ward
"A Perfect Mess" Mike Posner
"No Sleep" Wiz Khalifa
"Everybody Wants Somethin'" The Sudden Passion
"Don't You Worry Child" Swedish House Mafia
"Some Days" The Maine
- E

"Payphone" Covers

       With the spring concert and summer festival seasons just around the corner, now is the best time to get 'cheap' tickets. While looking for tickets, it's hard not to get excited about those impending road trips (nothing is better than a car full of your favorite people sharing gas station snack foods and singing to Top 40 songs until you're hoarse [I have never come out of a concert trip without laryngitis; it's inevitable]), and it is especially difficult to not be reminded of the songs that were played on repeat during your last festival car ride; last summer, that song was "Payphone".
       It may not be the best song, but it is a really great song, and I would be remiss if I did not admit that I really loved losing my voice to this song. Of course, every great song gets covered by hundreds of people looking for their shot at fame and, while most of them leave something (or a lot of things) lacking, these are some of the best covers of Maroon 5 and Wiz Khalifa's "Payphone".
       Landon Austin does a really great job of changing the composition just enough to make it his own (without losing that original melody) and the addition of female vocals (from Esther Faith) work perfectly into a song like this.
       AHMIR's version of the song keeps the same melody as every other cover, but they dress it up a bit and add in their really great vocal harmonies to make this cover stand out. Their quartet will always produce good covers simply because their vocals are so great, but if you're still not sure about the band or their cover of this song, the vocals starting around that 2:50 mark should have you hooked.
      Walk off the Earth will be in anything which lists 'the best covers' of any song because they always put together something amazing which is uniquely their own. Their version of "Payphone" is just fun and really good (and Gianni Luminati manages to make ties look cool).
      Alex Goot has one of the prettiest voices (even if it does get a little breathy at times), and pairing his soft voice with Eppic's fast paced rap had this version making this list, easily. Anyone can sing nicely and make an okay cover, but it takes an artist to make the song their own, mix up the composition, and add in that extra component that will make your song perfect (Eppic's rap was just so good). Plus, Goot isn't afraid of saying "fucking" and "shit" and that is so refreshing; I can't stand it when people unnecessarily 'clean up' an artist's original work. I may actually like Alex Goot's version more than WOTE's.
       Though these guys all do great covers of songs, they are all artists who create even better original songs, so make sure to check them out in the links below and to support them by buying their songs or merchandise if you want them to continue to make music.
- E

1.14.2013

"Erase Me"

"Erase Me" Kid Cudi (featuring Kanye West)
       Think (or loudly say) what you want about Kid Cudi, but you cannot deny that every song of his is highly addictive and that this song, in particular, is kind of perfect. I would have been fine had Kanye West not chimed in, but he doesn't harm the song in any way (though he doesn't really add to it either...). Regardless, this song is still fun and it never gets old (and the music video is just entertaining enough to keep you from noticing [too much] that they block out every curse word). 
- E

1.12.2013

"Techno Fan"

"Techno Fan" The Wombats
       The Wombats have been on my mind lately and their music is always great. Plus, this is a pretty great song for a Saturday night, especially when he says "shut up and move with me or get out of my face".
- E


1.09.2013

"Goodbye Serenade"

       If those opening notes do not have you convinced that this song is going to be great, then the opening lines will. When I logged into my Gmail account tonight and saw an email from the band, all I could think was, "please, please let me like them"; I'm pretty sure I love them.
       If that 1:14 mark in the video (when the drum beat picks up and that trumpet chimes in) does not make you smile, you might be broken. Lyrics like "It's not the notes that you play, it is the silence between" and "sacrificed all of my thoughts, bleeding the memories dry", and every line in between are amazing; the only thing that makes these lyrics better is the composition that crescendos just when you need that little kick to convince you that this song is, while heartbreaking, still uplifting (it should also work to convince you that more artists should include trumpets in their work). 
       It's a great mixture of the best that indie music has to offer and, even though I try to make comparisons to other bands to explain this song's sound (it has lyrics and emotions that could have come from Mumford & Sons or The Lumineers, but with those soft drum beats that kind of make you want to dance around your room, sounding so reminiscent of Kodaline), I still cannot pinpoint where I have heard this sound before (a fact which I love).
       The lyrics make this song a bit sad, yet the composition still manages to make me inherently happy because it's stuffed full of optimism and it has been far too long since I have heard a song that was this great. The last time I can remember hearing a song that made me this excited to (immediately) download an EP and hear more from a band was when I first heard this song however many years ago. A few months ago, I was thinking that I would never find a band as great as Lady Danville, yet this song has convinced me that, now, I finally have a serious contender. 
       The only thing capable of making this song more perfect is its video.
       "Goodbye Serenade" The Rebel Light
- E

1.07.2013

"Love Like Woe"

"Love Like Woe" The Ready Set
       In an effort to make these song posts more enjoyable (acceptable), I am going to add some stream of consciousness to it; that's all that my posting a singular song really is (an uncensored thought), but this will just give you something to do while listening to the song and it will help me feel better about neglecting you guys until I have time to sit down and complete something.
       There is no rational explanation for my absolute addiction to this song; it's not like something from The Maine where I'm thinking "oh, but John O'Callaghan is so pretty" or something from The All-American Rejects where I just have to love it because I (literally) fought for their first album and have loved every song they've recorded (while on this note: If you have a chance to see the bands you idolized when you were young, do it; it will be amazing [even if the lead singer does look a little really rundown and, due to this appearance, sounds a bit creepy at times]).
       I can only determine that I heard this song sometime during my freshman year of college and decided, at that exact moment, that it would be my new favorite song... I may have been drunk because that's when I seem to make my best worst decisions (that does make sense linguistically [and logically] if you think about it for a bit) and, while this song is not the best song (having no real merit), it is a great song. 
      "Love Like Woe" is always addicting because of that perfectly odd mixture of piano (which opens the song, then sets the tempo for the remainder), a little bit of autotune, great back beats, a really pretty voice, that rap/singing that sounds a little reminiscent of a reggae style (except that I actually like it), and an ending that stops just short of abrupt (leaving you wanting more, without making you feel cheated)It's kind of an amazing song in the way that it mixes so many aspects of different genres (without sounding like a crowded mess) and the lyrics are surprisingly great for a song that is stuffed full of pop beats. It's a pretty great song that only grows more addictive with each listen.
- E

1.06.2013

Indiana

       Since it appears that I will never be able to shake my Hoosier roots, I guess I should embrace them; besides, I kind of love visiting those small town fairs. Indiana has churned out plenty of great musicians over the years and all of their music can easily be listened to on repeat.
"I Want You Back" The Jackson Five
"Jack and Diane" John Mellencamp
"In This Diary" The Ataris
"Mood Indigo" The Four Freshmen
"Angel" Amanda Perez
"In The Kitchen" Umphrey's McGee
"Bombs Away" Virgin Millionaires
"Midnight Fix" Asteria
"Aftermath" Adam Lambert
"Smooth Criminal" Michael Jackson
"Broadripple Is Burning" Margot & The Nuclear So and So's
"Love Like Woe" The Ready Set
      There are plenty of other bands whose key members have come from Indiana, but I feel like I would be stretching it were I to add them to this list. Instead, I will just give them a sort of 'honorable mention' by naming them here: Guns N' Roses (Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin), Matchbox Twenty (Kyle Cook), Blind Melon (Richard Shannon Hoon), Van Halen (David Lee Roth), Motley Crue (Mick Mars).
- E

1.05.2013

"C'mon Let Me Ride"

"C'mon Let Me Ride" Skylar Grey
       It is only five days into the New Year and I have already failed at the second half of my New Year's resolutions list, so... That sounds about right. 
       This would be the time to get back on track and write something long or interesting; instead, I am just going to try to force you to bask in the greatness of this song for a little while longer. It sounds a little ridiculous (because it is) but it's also fun and satirical and has not had the radio play or praise that it deserves yet.
- E

1.02.2013

Blog Resolutions

       I never do New Year's Resolutions; they're pretty empty gestures. Sticking with the spirit of things though (what with that New Year's glitter still stuck in the cracks in the sidewalks) I came up with a few resolutions for the blog in 2013.
       I am going to (attempt to) feature more 'undiscovered' bands. Featuring little known bands (like Youngblood Hawke or lady danville) that show up on the radio or in television shows a few months later is just fun and a lot of bands, while popular in one demographic, may not be as well known on the opposite coast or in a different country. Talking about 'little' bands is great though because, when Momma Holler is crazy popular and everyone wants their newest album, you can be the annoying hipster raving about how you were a fan before they had released their EP, Pack Your Bags Junior ; it's fun, I swear. If you know of a band that you really like and think other people need to know about them, email me (address at bottom of page) because they're probably great and deserve whatever publicity they can get.
       I am going to stay more focused and put up at least one post each day. I have a tendency to stop posting for a few days when I have more pressing matters like work, personal life, or school (oh, how I loathe school; I don't need to pay $500 for an hour long class when I can learn the same common-sense information from a $100 text book...), but I want to try to put up at least one post a day, especially for those of you who have been reading the blog from the beginning. I'm also going to refrain from using personal stories to fill up those days when I can't think of anything to write; I have already gone through and deleted or edited many of those 'personal' posts and would like to refrain from writing anything else that has to be deleted... I mean... This is kind of personal, but it's relevant to the blog so...
       I've never made a resolution list before so these two things seem pretty good to me. As far as my personal New Year's Resolutions list goes, Bombadil does a pretty good job of listing things out for me. 
- E

1.01.2013

More WOTE (with some krNfx)

       Swifty's music video for "I Knew You Were Trouble" may have been truly awful and super awkward, but Walk off the Earth makes up for it by releasing the best cover of this song that will ever be made (it's kind of better than the original; if Taylor Swift had invited Terry 'krNfx' Im to record this song with her it would be even more popular than it already is). If you do not already love Walk off the Earth, start falling for them now because they are never anything less than amazing.
- E

Post Germany Trip

       In the last post I put up before getting on a plane, I stated that I didn't want to be in Germany for as long as I wanted to be in other countries because I was not as excited for Germany as I was for the people I was going to see when I got to Germany; Germany is so much more amazing than I thought it would be and I never thought I would miss it as much as I do.
       Soon, I will be getting back on track with new bands, established artists, and musical ramblings but, until then, I'm just going to try to hold onto the greatness of Germany for a little while longer. I thought Germany would be the least impressive of all the countries in the EU, but it's beautiful and fun with amazing architecture, history, and culture and the only downside is the weather; I can deal with wearing multiple layers if it means that there will be clean air, highways with no speed limits, great food, and amazing landscapes everywhere I go.
       Until I can get back on track though, Germany just plays the funnest (it was added to Merriam-Webster; it's a word) music.
- E

Happy New Year

       Thanks for reading and listening and I hope I've given you at least one band that you could fall in love with this year. Here's to an amazing 2013.
With a little of this:
And, of course (and always):
Happy New Year everyone.
- E