Anyone who knows me or has read this blog for any period of time knows how wholeheartedly I stand behind the boys of Hunter Hunted (formerly of Lady Danville). These guys are amazing and their music is even better; the fact that their already great music has only managed to get better since these two first got together in 2006 is, in and of itself, amazing.
This Wednesday (February 27th) the band, Hunter Hunted, will be making their debut television appearance on Conan (on TBS at 11 p.m. eastern time). Look up their music and fall in love with the band now because they have been too great with too little exposure for far too long and will soon be taking over your radio airwaves.
J.Viewz (Jonathon Dagan) never fails to make an amazing song (and addictive video), yet I am still awestruck by his latest video. For his latest musical endeavor, J.Viewz uses vegetables and fruits to recreate Massive Attack's "Teardrop" and it comes out sounding flawless (and utterly amazing because the concept of using food to create music is just cool). Of course, all of J.Viewz's music and videos are amazing, but this one is just inherently inspiring and, as far as creating music goes, it's just really awesome.
Check out these sites, support his work, and get addicted.
I have been neglecting the blog (again) and, for that, I apologize. With my third straight week of work (I would love the paycheck if the customers weren't so fucking stupid), a ridiculous amount of projects for my courses, and my internet going out for three days, I have barely had time to eat and so I let the blog sit in the background whilst I did all of my chores.
It would be really great to come up with a lengthy post about some great new band after all this time but, seeing as how I got called in to work again (on what was supposed to be a beach day) and have only an hour to eat, shower, go to the bank, and fill up my car, I am going to leave you with nothing more than a really great song for your Friday.
"Glue Girls" Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
I thought that London Grammar's song, "Hey Now", was really great, until I heard "Metal & Dust". The vocals are so, so pretty with just the right amount of techno sounds and beats supporting it and the lyrics are kind of great; the song, in its entirety, is pretty amazing. "We argue, we don't fight, stay awake till the middle of the night" and that entire first verse ("And so you build a life on trust though it starts with love and loss, and when your house begins to rust, oh it's just metal and dust") is just great writing and the beat becomes more addictive as the song progresses.
Fitz and The Tantrums have a new single, "Out Of My League", which has dropped some of that retro sound the band became so well-known for, while still maintaining some classic styles of music (like the hand-clapping back beats, the "ooh"-ing backing vocals, and the unaltered main vocals) that set it apart from other popular bands. The song is still just as fun as the rest of the bands' music (despite whatever comments "fans" seem to have on the bands new sound [you can't claim to be a fan if you don't like the bands' music]) and I cannot wait for FATT's newest album to be released.
More Than Just A Dream will be available May 7th and you can pre-order the album on iTunes and get a download of their latest single.
I think I've mentioned before the utter perfection that is this song, but I did not bother delving too far into the details because The Lumineers were on the rise and you were going to be inundated by their music anyways.
Lines like "it's better to feel pain, than nothing at all, the opposite of love's indifference", "I don't blame ya dear, for running like you did, all these years", and that ever repeating "keep your head up, keep your love" make the song amazing lyrically; that simple strumming riff on the guitar and the slow notes from the fiddle, with just enough percussion (drums/tambourine) to pick up the beat when it gets too morose, make this composition amazing.
The video is almost as powerful as the song, showing glimpses of other's lives, all through a child's naive viewpoint. It was put together perfectly and lines like "she'll tear a hole in you, the one you can't repair" become even more heartbreaking against this backdrop.
Unless you are the most emotionless person on the planet, you should be able to feel that ache of emotion in Schultz's voice and the perfection that comes from pairing those lyrics with the image of a child too young and innocent to realize the bad in the world.
Ke$ha's latest EP, Deconstructed, was released the same date that her last album, Warrior, was released (December 4th), but it was not released digitally (iTunes/Amazon) until February 5th. Her last (full-length) album was amazing, and you should have realized that she was going to stick around after her music video release of "Take It Off" back in 2010 (with all of that glitter, color, and shine) but, if you were still unsure about her ability to be a "great" artist, this album should alleviate any of those doubts. Deconstructed manages to show an even more vulnerable (and artistic) side of Ke$ha than Warrior (or any of her previous albums) did.
"Old Flames Can't Hold A Candle to You" is a cover of an old Dolly Parton song, written by Ke$ha's mother (Pebe Sebert). I prefer Ke$ha's vocals over Parton's so, to my ears, this is one of few covers that is actually better than the original.
"Blow" seems like the weirdest song to choose for this EP, but it sounds kind of great this way. A song which continually states "this place about to blow" suddenly turns into a really great song with lines like "it's time to kill the lights and shut the DJ down" and "it's time to lose your mind and let the crazy out" sounding pretty and poetic in a way which they have not been featured before.
"The Harold Song" has always been amazing and is one of her best, but the acoustic version does a better job of capturing the pain that comes with baring your fears, thoughts, and past mistakes to a worldwide audience. The song becomes eerily vulnerable in a really great and heartbreaking way with lyrics like "and this is so hard that I didn't see, that you were the love of my life and it kills me" and "drunk off of nothing but each other till the sunrise" becoming so much more amazing than they ever were that it's almost hard to not tear up (just a little bit).
"Die Young", Ke$ha's first single from Warrior, still has that fun sound which surrounds its entire essence, but it offers the listener a chance to hear Ke$ha's actual voice; and her voice sounds really great with only a piano to back it. Lines like "young hearts, out our minds" and that ever-repeating "we're gonna die young" become so much better when they're slowed down, featuring nothing more than good vocals and great lyrics.
"Supernatural" already has one of the best beginnings of any song from 2012 but, after all of that glitter and shine (bass and auto-tune) is stripped away, it sounds even more powerful.
When all other aspects of the song are gone and the only thing left is Ke$ha's vocals (with just a few backing instruments), it becomes so much easier to focus on, and appreciate, how great her lyrics are in each song she writes.
Delilah's music offers the most amazing and beautiful mix of soulful R&B with electronic beats and that unaltered voice that is such a staple in the alternative rock genre. Her voice is kind of gorgeous and lyrics like "I am strong when I'm quiet...I can hate what you say and still smile", "use my heart as a crutch for my ego, and hope that I never never fall in love", and "use my heart and unravel it" makes this song heartbreaking-ly beautiful and I can't seem to get enough of it.
An indie rock trio from Los Angeles, The Rebel Light is comprised of two brothers from New York and their cousin from California (Alan Steil, Jarrett Steil, and Brandon Cooke). They released their self-titled first EP on November 13, 2012, recording the vocals in a bathroom and the drums in a woodshed and, while it features only three songs (the fourth song is simply a radio edit of the previous song), each song is great; plus, it's free on NoiseTrade.
"My Heroes Are Dead" starts with some electronic beats before jumping into a full composition (including a sturdy chorus and guitar riff) before the first verse has begun. The composition is reminiscent of a good, early '90's, grunge that manages to sound urgent and dreamlike all at once. It's an irresistible sound and, with great lyrics like "I believe I've never been wrong, now I feel like I'm being misled", you can't help but fall into the song; plus, you have to love the juxtaposition between this song and the next one on the album.
"Goodbye Serenade" is probably the most addictive song I have heard this year, if only because, in a year when even the most popular artists seem to be reaching new levels of maturity and vulnerability, this song still manages to delve deeper and sound purer; the fact that "I couldn't hear what you said, falling apart at the seams" may be the best opening line I've heard in a while doesn't hurt it's potential for greatness, either. With a solid back beat, a trumpet that remains steady throughout (and crescendos only when it is needed to lift the composition [starting right before that three minute mark]), vocals that manage to sound scratchy yet clean, and good lyrics capable of evoking emotions in the listener (like "all of the reasons we make time..." and "I couldn't tell if you changed, or does the darkness remain". Not to mention the remarkable articulateness of a line like "it's not the notes that you play, it is the silence between"), it's hard not to love this song. The music video is awfully addicting, using hope, optimism, and everything you ever loved as it's central thesis, and I can't help getting sucked into it when seeing images of Falkor (The Neverending Story), Beatlemania, the Tiananmen Square protests, and Charlie Chaplin's first speaking role.
"Wake Up Your Mind" is featured twice on the EP and has the conclusive sound that should be central to any good 'last song' on an album. The song sounds a little reminiscent of some of Muse's compositions (each track of the composition seems to have its own idea of the sound it aspires to create yet the tracks still manage to come together, in the end, to create a wandering composition that never loses focus, sticking to one main theme, throughout), just mixed with a little of that gritty rock sound. Aside from a great composition, lyrics like "what I'm feeling is just kept inside", "I can't walk away, hypnotized by endless shades of gray", and "your sacred ground has turned to ash and dust" make the song just good enough that, even with the strong competition created by the previous song ("Goodbye Serenade"), it can still stand out on this EP.
Though it's not on the band's EP, "Cemeteries & Adversaries" is just as addictive as the band's alternate songs and contains more of that alternative rock sound heard in the composition of "Goodbye Serenade" (with little influence from the electronic indie rock featured on "Wake Up Your Mind" and "My Heroes Are Dead"). The vocals are clean, the composition is straightforward, and the lyrics are just as great as they are in every song.
Check the band out in the links below and make sure to support them by donating what you can for their EP, available on NoiseTrade.
Songs like this are the reason that everyone loves '90's music; the guys look like assholes (but they're really just harmless punks on scooters), the lyrics are easy to sing along to (yet still great), and that back beat will be going around in your head all day (in a good way).
The song samples "More, More, More" by The Andrea True Connection and the music video was filmed in Daytona Beach (Florida) during Spring break time (anyone who lives near a Florida beach will tell you to stay far, far away from the beach during that time [for two months, hordes of people will crowd the highways, cause accidents, leave their trash on the beach, and remain utterly oblivious to their stupidity]) and basically features Len and his friends hanging out on scooters and messing around at the beach (debauchery was much more G-rated in the '90's). The best way to start your day is with some good, solid '90's alternative rock pop; besides, it's nearly impossible to not love this song (if only for its simplicity).
Walk off the Earth is kind of amazing and, from their videos, we already know that they can sing live and have the charisma and charm that would make them great in concert. With all of the requests the band has received, asking them to play in one place or another, they have announced that they will have an online concert (broadcast from their living room) for their fans from around the world.
The concert will take place February 20th (2013) at 8:30 PM (eastern time) and will last for half an hour. Of course, my last Wednesday class does not end until 9:15 (so I will be able to offer no opinions on the actual concert), but you can still get your tickets for the show (prices are based on your donation amount so you should donate/tip as much as you can to support the band [plus they have gifts for the top tippers that you'd really like if you really like WOTE]) and enjoy how wonderfully great this band is.
Check out this site to buy your tickets (before they run out [they keep adding more tickets when they run out and it's an online show so they can't really "run out" of room; you'll probably be fine]), then wait until the 20th for a really awesome show; nothing is more fun than watching the live performances of bands that really love the creation of music (i.e. WOTE will put on an amazing performance).
Need a great song from a great artist to start off your work week?
The first time I had a chance to sit down and listen to Ryan Dishen's album(s), I decided that Dishen is probably one of my new favorite artists (each time I listen to his music, it just gets better than it was before). All of his music is pretty great, so make sure to check him out here.
Plus, the music video is kind of perfect for the song (and only manages to make me even more excited to return to Europe in six [long] weeks).
As I relinquish my NHL addiction to the wonderfully fun insanity that is the Superbowl at 6:30 tonight (all the matches will be done by six anyways), I would be remiss not to mention the great artist who will be the star of this year's halftime show.
Regardless of the personal opinions you may have formed of Beyoncé (good or bad), her career is pretty amazing; Destiny's Child is the best-selling girls group of all time (being named one of the greatest musical trios of all time by Billboard magazine and selling more than fifty million records worldwide) and, during her solo career, Beyoncé has received sixteen Grammy Awards, twelve MTV VMA's, a Billboard Millennium Award, sold thirteen million albums in the US and over seventy-five million records worldwide, has been named one of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" and "100 Greatest Women in Music" by VH1, and was named one of the "100 Most Powerful and Influential Musicians in the World" by Forbes (plus, Sasha Fierce may be the best stage name to date).
Some people may have been upset by the whole lip-syncing episode at this year's presidential inauguration, but it was her own vocals that you heard through the speaker system; no one's voice, but her own, sang the "The Star Spangled Banner". Beyoncé is quoted as saying, "due to the weather, due to the delay, due to no proper sound check, I didn't feel comfortable performing live", though she will perform live at the Superbowl tonight (honestly though, were I in Beyoncé's place, I would have pre-recorded my vocals for President Obama's second inauguration, as well; would you want to take a chance of fucking that performance up?). Get over whatever pre-conceived notions you may have recently developed concerning her performance because she is amazing and, at thirty-one years of age, she has already had a truly great career (and you cannot deny that songs like "Halo" and "If I Were A Boy" are not great).
There has been some talk of Destiny's Child reuniting on stage during the show, but it has not been confirmed (nor denied), though did Destiny's Child really have any hits aside from "Survivor" (Scratch that; upon further iTunes library digging, songs like "Jumpin' Jumpin'", "Bills, Bills, Bills", and "Say My Name" bring back memories of elementary and middle school and my first "boy-girl parties" [is there anything more awkward while growing up?].)? While looking through old songs (so old they were placed into my iTunes library from a physical CD, rather than an online purchase) I actually got kind of excited about the prospect of a Destiny's Child reunion, although Beyoncé has pretty much shot those rumors down.
While there is no set list available for Beyoncé's halftime show tonight, we can be pretty certain that songs like "Single Ladies" and "Crazy In Love" will be performed sometime during the show so, while preparing to root for your favorite team, listen to some of Beyoncé's music and prepare for a really great halftime show.
You know that moment (during a fire) when the last log is burning out, the S'mores and Cheetos are nearly all gone, the laughter and jokes have died down, and you're just laying back and staring up at the stars? That perfect moment can only get better if you have people you love and a good soundtrack for the rest of the night.
Hunter Hunted (born out of Daniel Chang and Michael Garner, formerly of Lady Danville) began, officially, on December 5, 2012 and, as of now, the band has only two songs (though they definitely exemplify the saying "quality over quantity").
"Keep Together" was the band's first song (debuting December 15th) and has that beautiful vocal harmony which we have come to expect from these guys and is a perfect introductory song for the 'new' band. Michael and Dan were in a group before meeting Matthew Frankel and creating LD (Mikey G and Dan from Danville) and, through everything, they have stuck together as a sort of 'dynamic duo'. The song discusses a relationship where, no matter the circumstances, they're going to "keep together"; maybe the band did not mean it in this literal sense of keeping the duo together, but that's how I like to interpret it (after all, who does not like a cute song about a long term bromance? It really only adds to the band's charm).
"End of the World" was released as the band's second song (and first music video), fittingly, on December 21st. Aside from the fun video (a great idea, executed to perfection by R.J. Sanchez), the song is kind of really amazing. Though Lady Danville had, originally, written this song together, Dan and Michael traded out the cajon for a new fast paced drum beat with a pretty backing harmony that easily flows over those chords and mixes with those perfect vocal harmonies that chant those, always great, lyrics (and Hunter Hunted's version sounds so much better than the original). The lyrics and music are amazing and it sounds as if Hunter Hunted is more than ready to be released into pop culture. We're used to these two sticking with an indie pop sound, but they seem to be (once again) creating a niche in this genre that is all their own by relying on fun techno beats, creating a sort of dance/indie pop mixture (in theory, it's weird; in reality, it's amazing). As great as Lady Danville was, Hunter Hunted has the potential to be so much better.
If you find yourself somewhere in the LA area on February 12th, make your way to the Troubadour to check them out; these guys exude charisma on stage and I can only imagine how great their first show as Hunter Hunted is going to be.