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Best Songs of 2012

       There were some really great songs from this past year that either had a music video that was not great or no video at all; a song should not be forgotten just because it fell short on producing a great video. To end my whole "best of 2012" series, these are some of the best songs that 2012 gave us.
"Some Nights" fun.
"Both of Us" B.o.B featuring Taylor Swift
"Payphone" Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa
"She's So Mean" Matchbox Twenty
"Feel Again" OneRepublic
"Explosions" Ellie Goulding
"Marilyn Monroe" Nicki Minaj
"Operating" lady danville
"Sunshine" Matisyahu
"Stay the Night" Green Day
"Wide Awake" Katy Perry
"I Cry" Flo Rida
"I Knew You Were Trouble" Taylor Swift
"Red Hands" Walk off the Earth
"Ho Hey" The Lumineers
"Even If It Breaks Your Heart" Eli Young Band
"C'mon" Ke$ha
"Young Girls" Bruno Mars
"Diamonds" Rihanna
"Run For Your Life" The Fray
"The Sound of My Breaking Heart" K'naan
"Gone, Gone, Gone" Phillip Phillips
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Best Music Videos of 2012

"C'mon Let Me Ride" Skylar Grey
       The video highlights just how greatly satirical the song is and the only thing that makes the official video better is the behind the scenes video.
"Into The Wild" LP
       This song was amazing on its own (with LP's vocals and those amazing lyrics), but the video, stemming from a "Bonnie and Clyde" concept, is great and only makes the song that much better.
       The song is great to throw into a summer or weekend playlist and the video reflects just how fun the song is; it's fantastic. Plus, Petricca's trek through the Mockbee building was filmed in one take and I always find those videos to be great.
"Red Hands" Walk off the Earth
       It's another video that was filmed all in one take and it's great; it's the only thing that makes the song better than it already is.
"Give Me Love" Ed Sheeran
       I love this video; a lot. It's so gothic-ly weird and no other music video would have fit this song as perfectly.
"Hall of Fame" The Script featuring
       It's one of those feel good videos that you just can't help but like, and I kind of love it. The Script is amazing, somehow makes them sound better, and this video complements the sound and concept of the song perfectly.
"You And I" Paper Route
       Aside from the fact that this is one of my favorite songs to come out of 2012, this music video is amazing. Daly is fighting versions of himself to save the girl and, after finally deciding to give her his heart, she shoots it; it's kind of amazing
"We Are Young" fun. featuring Janelle Monae
       The music video is put together flawlessly and watching interviews which show how down to earth and humble Ruess is will only make you love the band, and the song, more; and who does not love a video filled with flying debris and bar fights?
"Better Side" lady danville
       This video is amazing; it's adorable and fun and perfect for this song and no other concept would have worked as well as this idea of four friends finding, basically, the fountain of youth and becoming young again for one night. It's lady danville's first official music video and it's amazing and perfect; have I mentioned how much I really love this band?
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Break Out Artists in 2012

       None of these artists came out of the blue and had amazing careers with the first song they released, and most were well known in their home countries before achieving worldwide success, but they all became famous this year when someone heard a sound they liked, allowing each of these artists to showcase their other music and use this sudden fame to advance their careers.
       Alex Clare released a really great album in 2011 yet no one seemed to realize (at least in the US) how great his music was until an Internet Explorer ad used "Too Close" in one of their commercials and now this song has been overplayed on radio stations since April; it's a great song though so it's being overplayed is not a bad thing.
       PSY was popular in South Korea and had released five albums that all did great in his home country, but he did not receive national attention until he released his sixth album and his music video for "Gangnam Style"; with this video came international fame and his video became the first ever to break the 1 billion view mark on YouTube. You know you are insanely famous when your video has about 499 million more views than Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance".
       Marina and The Diamonds had a fan base in Ireland and England already, but she did not become popular in the US until she released her album, Electra Heart, in April. Had I not been in California while "Primadonna" was being played every ten minutes on KREV, I still may not know about the band because this song has yet to make it down here. Her voice is amazing though and, had she been presented with anything less than worldwide fame after releasing "Primadonna" and "How To Be A Heartbreaker", I would have been surprised and disappointed, because she's too great to miss out on.
       Walk off the Earth is amazing and they've been around for years, releasing great original songs among their covers of popular songs, yet they did not become famous until this year when they uploaded their cover of "Somebody That I Used To Know" (which featured all five band members playing the same guitar. Regardless of how they came to fame, their original songs are amazing and they deserve all the praise they are given.
       fun. is one of those bands who has always had a devoted fan base but did not come to fame until they released a single that featured another up and coming artist and which was covered by those kids who dance around and sing on Fox (Glee). Their song may not have become popular in the best way (Lea Michele can never capture the emotion in Ruess' voice and these 'artists' just are not good, but I might be biased), but it makes no difference; the only thing that matters is that the band is crazy famous, Some Nights music has been featured in commercials, movies, and has infiltrated our radio stations, and the band has become so popular that the music from their earlier album is slowly becoming popular as well. It's great when a band or artist who has been working for a long time finally gets famous; Nate Ruess is amazing and he deserves all the recognition he can get from fun.'s success.
       Carly Rae Jepsen came in third on Canadian Idol and, though it took four or five years, her success on this show eventually led to her worldwide success. "Call Me Maybe" may be really, amazingly annoying now, but the first twenty times you heard it, you know you were addicted. It was on everyone's summer playlist and is so sickeningly catchy that it seems like it will forever be played on some radio station; I mean, good for her, but the only songs I've heard (on heavy radio rotation) are "Good Time" and the aforementioned single.
       Phillip Phillips may not be as famous as he was hoping for following an American Idol win, but he has been able to shake off that stigma that comes with winning that competition (the idea that you're only famous because you can mimic someone elses sound). His new album, The World From The Side Of The Moon, is amazing and every song is better than last; he may have come onto the scene quickly and in a tired and (slightly less respected) way, but that does not mean that he is any less great.
       There are still plenty of people/bands who need to be 'discovered,' worldwide, before 2013 is over though; Alex Goot, Luke Conard, Hunter Hunted, Momma Holler, Alex Day, New Medicine, and Foxy Shazam all need to become deliriously famous (because they're great), so force their music onto anyone who will listen.
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Best Song of the Day

       With the amazing number of songs I have used as the "song of the day" (127 and counting at the time this is being written) it's weird to think that I really do, for one reason or another, love all of the songs; and I do, yet there are still some songs that, to me, stand out from the rest and, before they're pushed away, never to grace the "sotd" list again, I wanted to mention the best of best.
"Vienna" Billy Joel
"Free Things For Poor People" Infadels
"Quiet Little Voices" We Were Promised Jetpacks
"Last Dance" Camera Can't Lie
"Texas Rain" Sleeperstar
"Walking Disasters" The Wombats
"I'll Be Your Breeze" Andrew Belle
"You're Gonna Go Far, Kid" The Offspring
"Walcott" Vampire Weekend
"Better Side" lady danville
"Need You" Travie McCoy
"Annie" SafetySuit
"Stubborn Love" The Lumineers
"Is Anybody Out There" K'naan featuring Nelly Furtado
"Dollhouse" Priscilla Renea
"Elevator Love Letter" Stars
"Ships In The Night" Mat Kearney
"Better Days" Goo Goo Dolls
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Best Albums of 2012

       Before beginning this list I think that it's only fair to state that Unorthodox Jukebox (Bruno Mars), One Night (Timeflies), and Halycon (Ellie Goulding) were the best sophomore albums this year had to offer, that it was a tie between North (Matchbox Twenty), Overexposed (Maroon 5), and Scars and Stories (The Fray), I fully expect Momma Holler's full length album to be on this list next year (it's not their fault that Mumford & Sons already had the indie folk sound covered), and that Strange Clouds (B.O.B) was bumped off the list only after Ke$ha released Warrior earlier this month.
       It's rare that you hear an album where every song is just as good, or better, than the last; not just in instrumental merit or lyric construction, but better in a way where I can listen to every song on repeat and love it just as much as the other songs.
       This EP is amazing and makes me even more excited for a full length Walk off the Earth album than any cover of a popular song could. The only song better for relaxing than "Summer Vibe" is "Gang of Rhythm" and the only song more amazing than "Speeches" is "Red Hands".
       There always seems to be a stigma surrounding American Idol winners because they come from a show that supports the bank accounts of aging artists and only gives young, good-looking singers (you don't even have to be an actual artist) a shot at fame, but Phillip Phillips had this competition won after his first audition (the only time I have ever called the outcome of that show right [though I was rooting for Heejun Han]). This album is amazing and contains not a single song which I cannot listen to on repeat.
       Some people say that this is the most commercialized album from K'naan and, if that's true, then I guess I just really love commercialized sounds, because this album is amazing. It's up there with the albums that were completely perfect this year (The Peace of Wild Things, Scars and Stories, R.E.V.O., Operating) where every single song was amazing.
       In all seriousness, Isaac Slade is the only nearly bald man I have ever loved; he's amazing and the only artists who can even come close to his on (and off) stage presence are Michael Franti, Brendon Urie and the boys of lady danville. If "Heartbeat," "I Can Barely Say," and, especially, "Run For Your Life," does not make you love this album just as much, if not more, than their other amazing albums then you must not have heard anything from the band before; listen to anything by them ("Cable Car," "Ungodly Hour," "Never Say Never," "All At Once," "Look After You," and, of course, "How To Save a Life") and you will fall in love with them and this album will become so much more amazing than it is upon a cursory listen.
       This is one of the best first albums from an artist and, even though the songs may not sound 'deep', they are still going to be popular and they are all great. That's the reason this album made the list so easily; every song is just as good as the last.
       This album just makes me happy; this year needed a charismatic electronic pop artist with a great album to pick it up out of its indie rut (I love alternative rock just as much as the next person, but I only can only take so much before I need to cleanse my palate with pop beats and heavy bass). Each song is put together perfectly and Marina's voice never fails to make the song sound amazing.
       I make fun of Swifty (and the video for "I Knew You Were Trouble" is an embarrassing mess), but this album really is amazing. Every song from "Treacherous" to "Begin Again" is fantastic and I'm amazed that Swift was able to create something so flawless and mature.
       When Mumford & Sons announced their next album, I thought for sure that nothing could be more pure, amazing, or just plain heartbreaking than their first album (Sigh No More); I was wrong. Babel is, simply, perfection and the fact that the band has already stated that they are working on music for their next album makes me inexplicably excited to see what they will present us with in another year or two.
       Ke$ha has come a long way from "Tik Tok" and "Blah Blah Blah" and I cannot get enough of her new sound; it's amazing and she deserves so much more credit than she has already received. Each song is great enough to be released as a single and Ke$ha should be praised for seamlessly intertwining pop lyrics and heavy bass and autotune with their adverse counterparts (vocals which contain no autotune, acoustic guitars, and vulnerable lyrics).
       They are not a band anymore and I almost left them off this list because of that reason, but their not being a band anymore has no impact on the perfection of this short EP. If there has ever been a band whose music speaks to me as fluently and consistently as lady danville's, I have yet to find them; this album, and all of their music, is perfection.
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London Grammar (Note)

       I said that I was not going to be writing any more posts about 'bands to watch' this year and I'm not; this is more of a general announcement of great music you need to get and listen to immediately. I have too many things to do with dog preparation and forcing all my clothes into one carry-on bag to write anything that is not reflective and completely subjective (in fact, I won't even be near a computer when this shows up on the blog), but this band is great and I did not want anyone to miss out on listening to them for any longer than they had to. Plug in your headphones, close your eyes, and just listen to "Hey Now" on repeat; it's kind of amazing.
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Best Bands to Watch in 2013

       Momma Holler is great; if you have not already fallen in love with those vocals and bought Pack Your Bags Junior, then do so now (I'll wait......). If you need some music that was not on their EP, check out "Any Way You Want Me To" because it will only make you more excited for a full length Momma Holler album.
       L.P. does not need much of an introduction anymore; she has grown from an unrecognizable artist on the festival circuit and become one of the most amazing vocalists of 2012. She is releasing her newest, full length, album in 2013 though and, if you need something new from her before then, she did lend her vocals to Christina Perri's cover of "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)".
       I am never going to stop ranting about Sleeperstar because they are always amazing and, if there is one album in 2013 that I cannot wait for, it is their release of Blue Eyes EP (Just Another Ghost Extended Sessions) January 29th (and their full length album later in 2013). I cannot stress enough how great this band is; support them, buy their stuff, and get ready for all their new music.
       Tokyo Police Club will be releasing their next album in 2013 and, if it is half as good as Elephant Shell or Champ, it will be amazing; seriously, if there is any album I am more excited for than Blue Eyes, it is Tokyo Police Club's new album. They are amazing and, if you do not already have their music, buy it now.
       Kodaline may be greatly known overseas, but they're still getting popular in the US and, if you like them, support them and share their music so they can continue to grow their fan base. Their full length album, In A Perfect World, is set to be released March 15, 2013 and, with their song "All I Want" being featured in this year's "Year In Review" video, they should be getting a lot more popular (something which they deserve).
       WALK THE MOON has finally begun to get the attention they deserve after a great summer album release (self-titled Walk The Moon) and great music videos for those songs (everything from their 7in7 series to that, always amazing, "Anna Sun" music video); their music will probably begin infiltrating your radio stations sometime in the next few months (if it has not begun to do so already).
       Chris Wallace is going to be popular; it's that simple. At the very least, "Remember When (Push Rewind)" will be so overplayed by radio station DJ's that, by the time Wallace releases his next album, even I will be tired of that song.
       Ra Ra Riot will be releasing their next album, Beta Love, January 22nd and it's going to be great. They released the single "Beta Love" earlier this year and waited until December to release their newest single, "When I Dream," and both are an amazing mix of the sounds on their first and second albums; Beta Love will be amazing.
       Walk off the Earth is completely amazing and, after releasing a great EP (R.E.V.O.) which featured only their own songs (no covers mixed in with their originals), I cannot wait for their next full length album to be released in 2013 (so that I can listen to it, loudly, on repeat).
       There are other really amazing bands to watch (Two Gallants, Passenger, Paper Route), but their tours are coming to an end and they will be returning to their studios for another year or so to create more music and produce even better albums for 2014 (so they'll be on next year's "bands to watch in 2014" list).
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"Happy Xmas (War Is Over)"

"Happy Xmas (War Is Over" John Lennon
       This song was released thirty years ago as a protest song (Vietnam) and the fact that it is still relevant is kind of sickening. It's a great song, but not all together "Christmas-y" (which is why I won't burden you with it on Christmas day). Whether or not you can sit through the video, John Lennon was a musical genius and it's important to note the everlasting relevance of songs like this. Regardless of the message you get from the song, this is still one of the best Christmas songs of all time.
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Travel Preparedness

       I think I've mentioned just a few (overwhelming number of) times that I will be leaving for Germany on Christmas Eve. It will not be an especially long trip (I'm just not that rich and if I'm in another country for longer than a month it will be England or New Zealand or Africa), but it will be especially great because I will be seeing one of my favorite people in the world for the first time in a year. While there, I do not want to worry myself with writing anything (you guys are probably awesome and your taste in music is great but...) so I have come up with a plan to be organized and prepared (for once).
       As we head towards 2013, seemingly quicker than ever, I think it is only expected that I compose lists of the best of the best from 2012 (i.e. best bands/albums/music videos). With this in mind, I apologize in advance for not writing about any bands or artists (new or established) until the new year; there will be plenty of great music to share with you come 2013.
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If you're still convinced that today is going to be the end of the world....
"How Far We've Come" Matchbox Twenty
"End of the World" New Medicine
"Out Alive" Ke$ha
"Pound the Alarm" Nicki Minaj
"London Calling" The Clash
"It's the End of the World As We Know It" R.E.M
"99 Red Balloons" Goldfinger
"Glad You Came" We Came As Romans
"Shortly Before the End" OK Go
"Don't Panic" Coldplay
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"Fairytale" will always be Sara Bareilles' best song; it's great.
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DJ Earworm

       DJ Earworm is amazing and, if you do not know about him yet, then you are going to be inundated with information on him in the years to come.
       He's a DJ (erm..duh?) who finds popular songs, takes them apart, then puts them back together to make these amazing mash-ups that always turn out flawless; the lyrics and notes are lined up so perfectly that his mash-ups are usually better and more enjoyable than the original song (and he does just as great a job on the music videos). 
       He's done plenty mash-ups of popular songs ("Beautiful Mashup," "Backwards/Forwards," "Love and Wonder," "If I Were A Free Fallin' Boy," "My Life Would Suck Without You In My Place," "Reckoner Lockdown," "Fly," "Heartless in a Bottle," "Mama," and "Like OMG, Baby" to name only a few of his great mash-ups), but his most popular mash-ups may be the series titled "Music For Sport" and "United State of Pop". 
       "Victory Mix" and "Faster/Stronger" are the two mash-ups from his "Music For Sport" series and they're great. "Victory Mix" has three parts ("Don't Stop Feeling Good," "Gold," and "All Champions Do Is Win") and "Faster/Stronger has four parts ("Bulletproof Titanium," "What Makes You Born To Run," "Speed," and "Power"); they're set up like movements of music, all corresponding to that main theme of "Music For Sport".
       Personally, my favorite mash-ups almost always come from his "United State of Pop" series though. He began the series with "United State of Pop 2007" and continued to release these mash-ups yearly, all of which contained the top twenty-five songs on the charts from that year ("Viva La Pop," "Blame It On the Pop," "Don't Stop the Pop," "World Go Boom," and, now, "Shine Brighter"). 
       All of the mash-ups are great and picking a favorite is kind of difficult (and everyone has their own), but I've always played "Blame It On the Pop" (2009), "Fly," "Heartless In a Bottle," and "Don't Stop the Pop" (2010) just a few more times than the other mixes. Of course, now I am completely addicted to "Shine Brighter" (2012), but that's to be expected.
       He puts a great amount of work into creating these amazing mash-ups (and their videos) whose individual songs blend together so smoothly that you could never imagine these songs not being made with the initial goal of, someday, working together. DJ Earworm deserves far more credit for his work than other DJ's (such as Deadmau5 or David Guetta) whose music just does not sound as good as these mash-ups.
       Keep an eye on DJ Earworm's website to catch all of his new mash-ups (they are always great [and free]) and to read his analysis of each "United State of Pop" movement; he gives a great synopsis of the themes used in that year's popular music.
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Year In Review + Kodaline

       These "Year In Review" videos are always fun to watch and it's totally relevant to this blog because it shows clips (albeit very short ones) of PSYThe Piano GuysWalk off the Earth, and that JB Fanvideo you wish your friend had never shown you (though she does redeem herself a bit here), as well as featuring the song "All I Want" by Kodaline (whose new album, In A Perfect World, has been announced for a March 15, 2013 release). 
       Plus it's put together by Google, who powers YouTube and Blogger and Google Chrome; basically, were it not for Google, I would not be able to annoy so many people all at once! So, as we head towards the new year in what seems like record time, watch this video and think of all of the great musical, political, and (admittedly) short-lived moments that controlled our lives in 2012, and how many there will be in 2013. 
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Personal Holiday Playlist

       It's not Christmas until you've burned yourself baking, half-watched The Year Without A Santa Claus while (frantically) cleaning, broken an ornament, wrapped and shipped all of your gifts, attended your grandmother's annual Christmas dinner, forced a Santa hat onto a sad dog, caught up with old friends, and watched The Shining and Love ActuallyWith everything on this holiday list completed, the only thing left to do is to share my personal holiday playlist with you. There's only a week or so before Christmas when these songs all become irrelevant again, so I hope you enjoy them as much as I do (while you still can).
"Wish List" Neon Trees
"Holiday Song" Lady Danville
"The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)" Nat "King" Cole
"Auld Lang Syne" Andrew Bird
"Belleau Wood" Garth Brooks
"Someday At Christmas" Stevie Wonder
"Christmas Wish" ALL CAPS
"Wonderful Christmas Time" Paul McCartney
"I Hope That It Snows" Madi Diaz featuring Keegan DeWitt
"Christmas Lights" Coldplay
"Fairytale of New York" Gianni and Sarah
"All I Want for Christmas is You" Mariah Carey
"Santa Stole My Lady" Fitz & The Tantrums
"Darlin' (Christmas is Coming)" Over the Rhine
"What Christmas Means To Me" Cee-Lo Green
"Shake Up Christmas" Train
Want more Christmas/holiday music? Click here or here.
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"Nothing At All" Timeflies
"Feel Again" OneRepublic
"Red Hands" Walk off the Earth
"The Daylight" Andrew Belle
"The Sound of My Breaking Heart" K'naan
"Gone, Gone, Gone" Phillip Phillips
"Only Wanna Dance With You" Ke$ha
"Time Bomb (Walk Away)" Chris Wallace
"Natalie" Bruno Mars
"Diamonds" Rihanna
"The Man Who Never Lied" Maroon 5
"Sing You Home" Xenia
"Stardust" Mika
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WOTE Music Video(s)

       Walk off the Earth released their music video for their song, "Gang of Rhythm," yesterday and it's just as great as the song itself so check it out and, if you have not done so already, make sure to buy their latest EP, R.E.V.O.; it may be short (it's an EP..), but it's great.
       If you have not already seen it, watch their music video for "Red Hands"; the video is almost more addicting than the song.
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Unorthodox Jukebox

       It's no secret that I love Bruno Mars' music, and his newest album, Unorthodox Jukebox, is no exception; it sounds as if Mars has finally found solid ground on which to stand with his competing compositions and diverse set of musical influences. Mars does have a tendency to jump from one genre to the next on this album, but he does so seamlessly and the songs are written and composed so wonderfully that the album seems to thrive off of this genre non-specificity. 
       "Young Girls" may be my favorite song from the album, and has been since it was released as a single (if you could not tell from my overuse of the song in various playlists). The lyrics are great, the composition is amazing, and, as always, Mars voice flows perfectly over that harmony to create that rich melody we all crave so much in our music.
       "Locked Out of Heaven" has a composition that instantly distinguished this first single from any other song on his first album and showed how much this artist has grown since Doo-Wops & Hooligans. The lyrics are classic Mars and the catchy beat and chorus just beg to be played on repeat. 
       "Gorilla" is a song that only Mars could sing; with lyrics like "you've got your legs up in the sky, with the devil in your eyes" and "you and me, making love like gorillas," Mars is the only artist who could pull off the song perfectly with his crooning voice, great back beats, and his altogether inoffensive appearance (he's only 5'5" and his face does not look intimidating).
       "Treasure" is the only song that could follow "Gorilla" on the album. It has a great '70's sound that makes these lyrics even better; that great voice over-esque intro and a composition which sounds reminiscent of disco manage to keep lyrics like "treasure, that is what you are, honey you're my golden star" from getting too sweet.
       "Moonshine" starts off as a slow song, sounding slightly uninspired in comparison to the previous songs on this album. The lyrics manage to stay great though and, eventually, that composition follows suit and, by the time the song reaches the bridge (at about 2:25), it has become just as great as the other songs on the album.
       "When I Was Your Man" may be the most heartbreaking song on Mars' new album and makes the entire album all the more wonderful. Lyrics like "too young, too dumb, to realize, that I should have...held your hand" and "take you to every party cause all you wanted to do was dance, now...she's dancing with another man" show a vulnerable side of Mars which only seems to come out when he is recording his best songs.
       "Natalie" has a "Rumour Has It"-esque beat with fast-paced vocals and lyrics that stand out in stark contrast to the previous songs on this album ("she better sleep with one eye open...cause once I get my hands on her, imma ooohh"). A song promising revenge (at any length; "I'll spend a lifetime in jail, I'll be smiling in my cell") is a new sound for Bruno Mars, and it's great; I cannot wait to see how this sound evolves and represents itself on his next album.
       "Show Me" has a reggae sound which sounds completely out of place on this album, yet somehow works. The song is sandwiched between the only songs that could tie it in (lyrically) to the rest of the album and, even if the sound is far removed from Mars usual compositions, we probably should have guessed that a song like this was coming after the presence of "Our First Time" and "Liquor Store Blues" on the last album. The sound is a little discordant with the general theme of the album, but it does do a great job of showcasing Mars' voice with minimal instrumentation to support his vocals.
       "Money Make Her Smile" is just a fun song to listen to (on repeat). You can hear a bit of a Michael Jackson influence in the instrumentation and vocals, but those back beats, vocal loops, and accusatory lyrics make this song sound great. It's another new sound from Bruno Mars that perfectly mixes his crooning voice and throwback compositions with great back beats and vocal loops (a new composition style for Mars') and it comes out sounding fantastic.
       "If I Knew" closes the album with Mars' usual style, relying heavily on his own vocal abilities, minimal instrumentation, and lyrics that are unapologetically sweet with a composition that complements them perfectly. It just sounds like the 'last song of the night' and is the perfect way to end this album; it may be slow and a little sad, but it's a great song and seems to promise more great music to come.
       With songs like "Natalie" and "Young Girls" sounding so much more mature than "Grenade" and "Runaway Baby" (in both the lyrics and the compositions), this album shows how much Mars has grown as an artist in two short years and only makes me more excited to see what he can create by 2014. Buy Unorthodox Jukebox because it only gets better the more you listen to it and each song is just as great as the last.
- E


For Christmas...

       With Christmas day only two weeks away, I guess I could start harping on what I want...
       All I want for Christmas is for Lady Danville to get back together.
       Okay, maybe that's not all I want, but a working car and a sudden (dream) career change aren't too plausible.
       Yes; a reunited Lady Danville is all I want for Christmas when I wake up in Germany(!).
Lady Danville
End of an Era
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FATT Announcement

       Fitz and The Tantrums announced today that their next album will be released next year (2013). Also, if you have not purchased/downloaded it previously, their always fun Christmas song, "Santa Stole My Lady," is free to download now on their website,, so give them your email and get the song before the holidays are over.
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Short Update

       I'm doing an awful job updating again. The good news is, I will have no work for at least two days (starting tomorrow) and will give you fun things to waste time with like enunciation and K'naan (because everybody loves linguistics and Somalian born singers from Canada). Until then, here's a melange of updates on a few bands/artists. 
       Walk off the Earth's latest album, R.E.V.O.- EP, is now available worldwide and their music video for "Gang of Rhythm" will premiere on YouTube on December 12th (well, the 13th according to their facebook and the 12th according to their twitter; I'm hoping for the 12th) and, if you need some holiday music, they covered "Jingle Bell Rock" this month.
       Bruno Mars' Unorthodox Jukebox comes out tomorrow and, if his singles are any indication, the album is going to be great. 
       A lot of people seem to be hating on a lot of music; though that's more of an observation than an update. It is possible to like any type of music if you just give it a chance; I don't particularly like Lady Gaga but I still think that "Speechless" is one of the best songs. People just need a little self control when mocking music that carries different emotional values than that particular listener can fathom; find something other than the artist/genre/band to take your insecurities/hatred out on.
       Kodaline came out with a new video for "The Answer" a month ago and I never bothered highlighting it... Here it is now. 
       If you're still addicted to L.P.'s vocals and just cannot wait until her album comes out in 2013, she did a great cover of "It's Over" (originally by Roy Orbison) that can, maybe, tide you over for a week or so.
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"Rooftops" Lost Prophets
It's old, but it's still fun. 
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Walk off the Earth

       Walk off the Earth (WOTE) has been known as one of the best cover bands for years, and I knew nothing about them until Philip DeFranco (the best news source) featured them in 2011; now I can never get enough of their sound. 
       The band formed in 2006 in Burlington, Ontario with Gianni Luminati, Ryan Marshall, and Petey Pablo, and now consists of Luminati, Marshall, Sarah Blackwood, Mike Taylor (the beard guy), and Joel Cassady. The indie band quintet first gained fame and recognition for their covers of popular songs like "Magic," "Love the Way You Lie," "Payphone," "Party Rock Anthem," and "Little Boxes" but the band is not an actual cover band and does have a lot of good original songs. While the fun loving band first began to gain fame and garner a fan base when they began to cover these hit songs, they did not garner an amazing amount of fame until they released their cover of Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know," resulting in attention from record labels (which had no part in their initial success) and a wider fan base.
       The band has released four albums and, while Vol.1 and Vol. 2 both had amazing original songs, they were also watered down with the covers the band had done (all of which are amazing; nearly all of their covers are better than the original). My Rock and, their newest (featuring all current band members), R.E.V.O. EP are the only albums which feature, solely, the band's original songs; they are both great. 
       I'll be the first to admit that I much prefer "Cheers (Drink to That)" by Gianni and Sarah over Rihanna's original and that I really adore the band's covers of "Payphone" and "Magic," but their original songs are so much greater than the credit which they have received. With the amazing amount of instruments each of the members can play (guitar, electric guitar, cigar box guitar, cigar box ukulele, bass, banjo, kazoo, drums, keys, theremin, xylophone, ukulele, trumpet, tambourine, piano, keyboard, and each member adds their vocals to the tracks), the beautiful lyrics that are so easily manipulated into any song format (due to their vocalists' seemingly innate skills), and each member's individual music style, there is no way that their original songs could be any less than perfect. 
       "Once in a While," "Little Sin," and "Julia," have that relaxed ska/reggae sound that the band is so great at creating and which is featured in so many of their other songs ("Backin' Up Song" and "Gotta Go" [and most every song on My Rock] to name a few), while "Broke" and "Money Tree" show how the band is just as adept at creating a great indie rock sound. 
       Their latest album (R.E.V.O. EP) is especially amazing, as the songs are a really great mix of these two genres which the band is so great at creating. "Summer Vibe" leans towards that reggae sound that is so great on lazy days, while "Gang Of Rhythm" and "Speeches" are this really great mix of reggae and alternative/indie rock (the composition is great for an alternative/indie rock sound, the vocals can fall into either genre grouping, and the lyrics are great enough to not need a genre to fall back on [though they could easily be classified as either reggae or indie rock]). "Red Hands" falls squarely into that indie/alternative rock genre and is an amazing song; I cannot get enough of it. I can play "Gang Of Rhythm" and "Speeches" on repeat, but "Red Hands" is the only song which I know I will never grow tired of during and after all of my listenings; it is fantastic and kind of perfect (and the music video is altogether amazing).
       The band is great and, if the way which they so easily pick up all these assorted instruments does not make you like them, then those vocals which just make you smile (as they are so great) will make you fall for the band. Walk off the Earth is amazing and, if you like them, support them by buying their albums and sharing them with your friends, because they deserve far more credit for their original songs than they have received and they need to continue making music.
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       Ke$ha came out with her latest album, Warrior, yesterday and it is better than her first two albums (Animal and Cannibal) combined. I'm biased because, as you may know, I really adore Ke$ha's music, but this album is amazing.
       "Warrior" is a great track to start the album, with that static coming in, then adding that piano before beginning the bass that is such a staple in Ke$ha's music. It also showcases her voice without autotune, which is something the entire album seems to emphasis; the fact that Ke$ha does have a good voice without help from the studio. The song ties together the sounds of her two previous albums and sets up a fantastic introduction for the rest of the album (it's those theatrics that make Ke$ha such a great artist and performer).
       "Die Young" has been polluting radio stations everywhere for months, but it is a good song. We tend to forget how great a song is once you hear it one too many times. It has a great dance beat and easy lyrics that just make you happy, as most Ke$ha songs tend to do.
       "C'mon" is a really fantastic song. I love it; a lot. Everything from that vocal track at the beginning to the bass that drops when Ke$ha begins to sing, and the continuation of that same vocal loop running through the song. It's a great weekend song and Ke$ha is the only person who can pull off a song like this; one that might not have the best lyrical meanings, but that has a great beat and sound that just allows her to pull it off and make it sound like something really special and great. It's amazing how she (Ke$ha) can do this so seamlessly. 
       "Thinking Of You" is a kind of great song. It's fantastic because the chorus and the title sound so sweet, as if Ke$ha is going to feature one of her more thoughtful songs (like "Animal" or "The Harold Song"), but then she begins that first verse (and every one after that) and it just becomes a better song that you thought it would be. It sounds like that classic Ke$ha from Animal, and I love it.
       "Crazy Kids" is put together so perfectly; everything from that simple whistling at the beginning to Ke$ha's voice coming out clear, without any beats breaking up the vocals (for the first time on this album), makes this song great. The songs before this were great, but this sounds like the spot in the album where Ke$ha really hit her stride, and makes you excited for all the songs on the rest of the album. It's also infused that talk/rap sound that only Ke$ha can make sound okay and fills out the song perfectly.
       "Wherever You Are" is one of those songs that shows just how great of a songwriter Ke$ha actually is. She can write something like "Thinking Of You" then turn around and give us a simple, slightly cheesy, and kind of great song that is infused with that signature Ke$ha bass which tries so ineffectively to beat out her vocals for the spotlight. 
       "Dirty Love" is just a fun song. Plus, it features Iggy Pop; you have to admit that the combination of Iggy Pop and Ke$ha is kind of great. The beginning verse (from Ke$ha) is so great; I can't not love Ke$ha when she says things like this. Iggy Pop chimes with a verse which matches Ke$ha's perfectly (plus, he makes fun of Santorum and that's always great) and the chorus is just put together greatly; a perfect mix of Ke$ha's dirty pop and Iggy Pop's rock.
       "Wonderland" shows just how great and diverse of an artist Ke$ha truly is. The song actually makes me think that, in another life or when, maybe, one day when she has exhausted her pop career, Ke$ha could always fall back on a career in country. Drop the bass from her songs and make the lead instrument an acoustic guitar and most of her songs could work as country (especially Hunter Hayes and, now apparently, Kelly Clarkson are considered country). Aside from all this babble, this retrospective song is really great and makes me a little nostalgic.
       "Only Wanna Dance With You" is the only song that could have followed "Wonderland," and it's great. It has those sickly sweet lyrics mixed with the lyrics which Ke$ha so easily lays out, creating great lines like "I'm talking about you in my sleep, what the hell did you do to me". Of course, the song has that back beat coursing through the track, making you want to dance just a little bit, and shows that Ke$ha has grown up and her sound has evolved since the last album.
       "Supernatural" sounds reminiscent of the sound on Cannibal and, while it does have a great back beat, it does show that Ke$ha is totally capable of producing these slightly sweet songs which only she can manage to shove full of a sounds and beats that tear it away from that "nice" sound before the chorus is finished. It's pure Ke$ha and it's amazing how she is so adept at creating this mixture of sounds.
       "All That Matters (The Beautiful Life)" has a great introduction and the lyrics make Ke$ha sound like she has grown a lot since her last two albums. Her songs are pulsing with more energy than her last two albums because, even though her other album's bass lines were strong and persistent, the beats on this album seem to have a pure upbeat energy that follows that bass line through the track.
       "Love Into The Light" has the one of the simplest all electronic compositions I have heard from a Ke$ha song, but I love it. Listen to the simplicity of that back beat, combined with Ke$ha's soft voice and those honest lyrics; it's amazing. It only makes Ke$ha so much better than any of her past music; she has grown a lot and, as this album has progressed, the lyrics and compositions just keep getting better.
       "Last Goodbye" is the best example I can find of why I love Ke$ha's music so much. This song is just... It's perfection; I love it. There is no better Ke$ha song and I am sure that it will not get all the credit it deserves, but the lyrics and the composition are so honestly pure and simple that it is perfection. Ke$ha, never change, because you are awesome.
       "Gold Trans Am" is really the only song that could pick the album back up after the last track, and when she says "wam, bam, thank you ma'am," you know that you are already hooked on this song. It is that gritty, dirty, classic Ke$ha and it's amazing; she has not put out this gritty sound from her first album in a while and the fact that she's pulled it back in a few times on this album makes me respect her music all the more.
       "Out Alive" is a fantastic song to begin the album's conclusion and shows, again, just how theatrical Ke$ha is (that she would have a song like this to close the album). The lyrics are great and Ke$ha is the only artist right now who is willing to state the fact that no one will make it out alive, pairing those lyrics with a great dance beat and turning it into the best song for anyone who wants to throw a party and pretend like the 21st will be the end of the world.
       "Past Lives" is altogether fantastically amazing. There are no words to describe how much I love this song. It is such a wonderfully simple composition that continues to, slowly, layer upon itself as the song progresses, creating a complex sound that winds through the track, while still being a perfectly simple composition for each separate instrument. Whomever decided that adding that little bit of male vocal which chimes in perfectly with Ke$ha's vocals was a genius and, the sound combined with the amazing lyrics, make this the absolute best way that Ke$ha could have ended this album. 
       Ke$ha has grown up a lot since "Stephen" and "Party At A Rich Dude's House", and this album shows just how great she has become. Even as her music style and lyrics grow and evolve, Ke$ha still maintains this seemingly innate ability to be, purely, Ke$ha, with no other influences; she blends her thoughtful and fun lyrics, great guitar riffs, and that ever present bass line perfectly to create an amazing sound. Each track on this album is put together perfectly to create an amazing album and, if you have not done so already, buy Warrior so you can support Ke$ha and listen to one fantastic track after another.
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